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Sexual Authenticity: An Intimate Reflection on Homosexuality and Catholicism Paperback – March 15, 2009


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Sexual Authenticity: An Intimate Reflection on Homosexuality and Catholicism + Washed and Waiting: Reflections on Christian Faithfulness and Homosexuality
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 239 pages
  • Publisher: Our Sunday Visitor (March 15, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592764932
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592764938
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #362,332 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Melinda Selmys is a contributor and columnist for several periodicals. She is a wife and mother and very active in numerous Catholic organizations.

More About the Author

Melinda Selmys is a writer of speculative fiction and Catholic non-fiction. She lives on an idyllic hobby farm in Tweed, Ontario with 16 chickens, 2 dogs, and a half dozen children.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 23 customer reviews
Overall, surprisingly easy to read and interesting.
Debra L. Robinson
Selmys honest and thought provoking book gives wonderful insight into her life and the lives of many others.
Brett
This is a magnificent book, and deserves a very wide readership.
David M. Elliot

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

42 of 44 people found the following review helpful By David M. Elliot on May 15, 2009
Format: Paperback
This is a magnificent book, and deserves a very wide readership. Selmys' prose is a work of art and a model of clarity. The book sweeps you along with novel-like readability and is happily free of technical blather. It's most obvious merit is that it thinks outside the usual box of culture wars rhetoric. The book was clearly written to appeal to both the pro and anti-sides of the gay debate. There's no language loud with fight; the tone is disarmingly pacific. Of the picking out of great passages, and the wearing out of highlighters, there is no end. Perhaps the highest praise you can give a book - that you give up underlining as futile since you're underlining everything - can be given this one. It performs the most interesting blend of genres I've ever seen: an autobiographic narrative that alone would have been worth buying the book for crops up amid compelling commentary on sex, history, psychology, the mainstream media, and Christianity. Almost by way of an afterthought, there drops from Selmys' pen the first really well-written and luminous exposition of Pope John Paul II's Theology of the Body in the English language, putting us further in her debt. For these, and for the book's lavish aesthetic merits, let it be reckoned unto her as righteousness.
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Debra L. Robinson on April 24, 2010
Format: Paperback
I didn't expect to agree with this book. In fact, I thought that I would probably
be offended. I am not Catholic, nor do I share the Catholic view on homosexuality. I
thought that this might be another account of 'how to fix the gay people you know so
that they won't burn in hellfire'. I was really surprised to find this to be an
honest and respectful discussion of sexuality and faith, which I found to be
insightful. I thought that the author did a great job of addressing multiple sides
of every issue. I'm also very picky about quality of writing, and I found Selmys'
style to be intelligent, yet still charmingly unpretentious. Overall, surprisingly
easy to read and interesting. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in
the subject."
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Jeremy J. Frim on May 13, 2009
Format: Paperback
Sexual Authenticity by Melinda Selmys is so much more than just another Christian book about homosexuality. Drawing on both her personal experiences and extensive research of homosexuality and Catholicism, the author's comprehensive approach not only reveals an understanding that is much more profound than one often encounters today, but also provides a wealth of information on many related issues such as love, marriage, family, society, temptation, repentance and religious conversion. There is something in this book for everybody, whether gay, straight, atheist, religious, some combination or none of the above.

In this book you will not find any of the stereotypical homophobia or legalism that Christians are often accused of. Sexuality is not boiled down to a set of behaviours dictated by feelings and "Thou shalt..." or "Thou shalt not..." statements. What you will find is a thorough yet concise explanation of sexuality as a gift from God and how it fits into a Christian worldview, told in the context of how one woman discovered it after years of trying to fight against it.

While there are many good resources out there on Christianity and sexuality, Sexual Authenticity combines a deep personal understanding with a rich abundance of information in 235 enjoyable pages. I highly recommend this book to everyone.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Craig K. Galer on February 1, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Melinda Selmys promises us, in the subtitle of this book, 'An Intimate Reflection on Homosexuality and Catholicism', and she delivers on that promise most admirably. Like St. Augustine of old, she weaves the experiences of her own life into penetratingly deep insight into human nature and sexuality. I am a bit in awe of the manner in which she lays her soul bare, in order to speak deep truth to her readers.

Taken at face value, this is a book about homosexuality, from a Catholic perspective, and it is certainly that, as Selmys gives us a look at homosexuality 'from the inside', out of her own experience of having been a partnered lesbian for several years, interwoven with the story of her painstaking conversion to Catholicism (which is one of the more brutally intellectually-honest 'conversion stories' I've encountered). But there is so much more here than just that, as her very agile and probing mind wanders over a vast range of what it means to be human, the nature of our relationships with others, sexuality, and on and on.

Because of where she has been in her life, her mind is remarkably (to borrow Dr. Johnson's phrase) 'free of cant'. She readily pierces ideological bubbles on both sides of the 'Cultural Divide'. In the present cultural climate in which 'Gays' and 'Christians' are all-too-eager to demonize each other into non-human abstractions, Selmys calmly points out the fatuities propounded by both sides, and encourages her readers to see things more clearly as they really are, on a human level.

The late pope's Theology of the Body, and the personalist philosophy out of which it grew, are all through this book, even if they are not at the forefront.
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