Unclean: Meditations on Purity, Hospitality, and Mortality and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Buy New
$20.70
Qty:1
  • List Price: $23.00
  • Save: $2.30 (10%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Usually ships within 1 to 3 weeks.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Add to Cart
Trade in your item
Get a $4.39
Gift Card.
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Unclean: Meditations on Purity, Hospitality, and Mortality Paperback


See all 3 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from Collectible from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$20.70
$19.73 $11.27

Frequently Bought Together

Unclean: Meditations on Purity, Hospitality, and Mortality + The Authenticity of Faith: The Varieties and Illusions of Religious Experience + Living into Community: Cultivating Practices That Sustain Us
Price for all three: $55.46

Some of these items ship sooner than the others.

Buy the selected items together

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Image
Looking for the Audiobook Edition?
Tell us that you'd like this title to be produced as an audiobook, and we'll alert our colleagues at Audible.com. If you are the author or rights holder, let Audible help you produce the audiobook: Learn more at ACX.com.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 212 pages
  • Publisher: Wipf & Stock Pub (March 4, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 160899242X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1608992423
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 5.9 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #143,103 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"...Noteworthy and full of insights, Unclean is a recommended reading for anyone interested in the psychological- and theological- aspects of purity in the church..." (David Jimenez-Cardenas Psychology of Religion 1900-01-00)

...The value of this book is that it begins a conversation that needs to be explored. Many of the discussions to date about human sexuality have ignored the impact of a disgust reaction on the ways that people respond to those discussions. A more honest recognition of personal response will allow a more honest conversation. For that reason, I am grateful for the contribution this book makes... (Marion Chatterley The Expository Times 1900-01-00)

“Beck’s skillful writing and psychological wisdom make this book a thought-provoking read.” (Sue Dickinson Reviews in Religion & Theology 1900-01-00) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Richard Beck is Professor of Psychology at Abilene Christian University. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Authors

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
5 star
17
4 star
3
3 star
0
2 star
0
1 star
1
See all 21 customer reviews
I definitely reccommend it.
gemcdole
The aspect that makes this more than a psychology book is the amount of theology in it.
Sarah E Chilcote
This is a surprising and even astonishing book.
Nancy E. Bush

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Oddsfish VINE VOICE on May 6, 2011
Format: Paperback
Richard Beck is a professor at Abilene Christian University whose blog Experimental Theology, which explores the intersections between psychology and theology, has revealed him to be one of the most intelligent and provocative voices in world of theology today. His legion of fans has long hoped that he would eventually start producing books so that his work could make the larger impact that it should in both academic conversations and the church. Unclean: Meditations on Purity, Hospitality, and Mortality is the type of excellent thought that I've come to expect from Beck, and I do not think that it will disappoint. It is an important book.

Unclean links, expands, and more fully documents several lines of thought that have appeared on his blog in the past (you can preview the most important of them if you simply search "Spiritual Pollution" on his site). I think the main idea is that much of church life is driven by the psychology of disgust. Disgust is one of the emotions that regulates inner/outer borders of the self. For instance, core disgust keeps us from drinking spoiled milk or eating food that's fallen in the floor, and it can make us vomit to expel a contaminant (real or imagined) from us. Disgust is also peculiarly irrational, driven by "magical thinking." Studies, for instance, show that humans will not eat brownies that are shaped like dog poop, even if they know it's a brownie, and they won't drink apple juice that they've seen contaminated by contact with a cockroach, even if they then immediately afterward see the juice boiled and cleansed in front of them.

Importantly, humans extend the logic of disgust so that it also governs sociomoral boundaries.
Read more ›
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Nancy E. Bush on April 2, 2011
Format: Paperback
We keep forgetting how impossible it is to isolate our worship lives from our underlying selves. With data and insights from research studies, Beck scrubs away the inattention that ordinarily keeps us from noticing how psychological influences shape religious practice and attitudes--in this case, how disgust controls our theology. This is a surprising and even astonishing book. Unclean is bound to startle and dismay many church folk, especially those who like their religion "nice"--which is part of the point of the book. Sometimes brilliant, always thoughtful, creative, as with his blog, Experimental Theology, which also explores religious thinking against a background of psychological research, Beck continues to amaze. Five stars for helping get my thinking cleaned up. Great stuff! I'm loaning my copy to my Episcopal priest, on condition he gives it back. Highly recommended.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Mark P. Brown VINE VOICE on July 9, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Richard Beck is a professor of Psychology at Abilene Christian University and the writer of the blog Experimental Theology. That perch gives him a fascinating place to ponder both the human condition and the church's role within modern society.

Within the church there is a continual split between a focus on purity and a focus on hospitality or mission. Richard Beck's simple argument is that it is a necessary tension that needs to be regulated. Churches commonly known as liberal have collapsed the tension in the favor of hospitality, but in doing this they have lost the transcendent. Churches commonly known as conservative have turned inward to guard purity, but in doing this they have lost Jesus' own mission to the sinners and tax collectors exemplified in his table fellowship. Dr. Beck's method of regulation is what strikes this reviewer as that rarest of items - a new understanding of the Eucharist or Lord's Supper that at the same time is deeply orthodox.

Dr. Beck achieves this by a solid grounding of the Psychology of disgust which is the emotion that grounds purity. He reviews how core disgust is a psychology regulating food and disease vectors. He then builds the argument how that core understanding spreads in moral, hospitality and mortality dimensions. He clearly demonstrates, through simple explanations of current research and theological reflection, how disgust is both necessary and toxic. It necessarily protects groups from unsafe practices, but it also shuts down mission and dialog. Understanding purity and its basis in disgust is necessary for regulating or keeping the tension.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By PLTK on December 29, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I found Beck's book a wonderful mix of theology and social science--one of the few books I have read that attempts (and in my view does a very good job) to integrate what we have learned about human interactions and placing that in the light of the Bible and its command that we should be in fellowship with each other. I loved how Beck presented Jesus' approach to the world (one drop of his love makes all clean) in comparison to our own approach where we too often act as if one drop of uncleaness ruins the person/people/relationship.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Paul L Hill on February 21, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Christians typically assume that purity, regardless of its expression, is always preferred. Whether sexual morality, hygiene or social interaction the default stance of many within the church is purified separateness. Beck confronts this by evaluating the words Jesus borrows from Hosea, "I desire mercy and not sacrifice." For Beck, purity which is the correlative of sacrifice, always impedes the expression of mercy and the offer of hospitality.

Beck effectively confronts the purity impulse within the church asking: Does the compulsion toward purity prevent the church from existing in a missional relationship to the world? In other words, can the church accomplish what it is called to do by Christ without ceasing its emphasis upon maintaining purity? (This purity is exhibited both behaviorally and relationally.)

By exploring the meaning of Christian hospitality as expressed within the life of the Trinity Beck can offer some important reflections regarding the conflict between purity and hospitality within the church. For the Christian hospitality is expressed to those who need it the most and they are not those typically described as "pure". Unless, the one doing the describing is Jesus himself.

This is an important book.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Product Images from Customers

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Search
ARRAY(0x9d9f1918)

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?