Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Qty:1
  • List Price: $25.00
  • Save: $2.70 (11%)
FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books.
In Stock.
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
Unclean: Meditations on P... has been added to your Cart
+ $3.99 shipping
Used: Good | Details
Sold by textbooksnow-
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: BOOK CONDITION: Used books will have varying degrees of wear, highlighting, and notations. Access codes & supplemental materials may not be included. Inventory is subject to prior sale. SHIPPING: Only Standard shipping to PO Boxes. We are not able to ship to APO/FPOs or Internationally. Orders are shipped from Illinois.
Trade in your item
Get a $5.22
Gift Card.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 3 images

Unclean: Meditations on Purity, Hospitality, and Mortality Paperback – March 4, 2011

4.6 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews

See all 3 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Price
New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$22.30
$16.36 $13.65

The Amazon Book Review
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
$22.30 FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books. In Stock. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
click to open popover

Frequently Bought Together

  • Unclean: Meditations on Purity, Hospitality, and Mortality
  • +
  • The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down: A Hmong Child, Her American Doctors, and the Collision of Two Cultures (FSG Classics)
Total price: $31.67
Buy the selected items together

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 is his first book but he has published extensively in the empirical literature concerning the intersection of Christian faith and psychology.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

New York Times best sellers
Browse the New York Times best sellers in popular categories like Fiction, Nonfiction, Picture Books and more. See more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 212 pages
  • Publisher: Wipf & Stock Pub (March 4, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 160899242X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1608992423
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.5 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #347,909 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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 26 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
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 13 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
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 18 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
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 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am a huge Peter Rollins fanboy, but if I were to recommend one recent work of theology for you to read right this instance it would be Richard Beck's book: Unclean.

Beck, who has one of the best theo-blogs out there, will tell anyone who listens that he is not a theologian. His discipline is psychology. He dabbles in theology as an exercise in interdisciplinary fun, but his dabbling is frequently more profound than the work of "proper" theologians, if there is such a thing.

In fact, this interdisciplinary experiment yields some wonderful fruit. One of the best aspects of this book is its thorough use of recent studies in psychology. Beck doesn't just theorize poetically about the roots of purity concerns, he gets into the mechanics of it, from cockroaches in your lemonade to ethnic cleansing. This is something which theology is desperately in need of - thoughtful interaction with science.

Beck doesn't fall into the trap of either setting science up at the service of his theology, or of dressing science up in some shallow theological drag. He engages deeply with the Biblical witness, Christian history and practice and sets that in relation to his expertise as a psychologist in a way that sheds light on all of it. We come away with a better understanding of why we have the gut reactions we do and how those gut reactions betray us to inhospitality.

The climax of the book is an analysis of the Eucharist based on what he teaches us about disgust psychology. He demonstrates that this subversive liturgical practice is uniquely potent for training our psychological impulses to match the grace of Jesus Christ. As a huge fan of the sacrament of communion I like any story that culminates at the table.

Preachers, pick this book up. It will do you more good than a dozen books on homiletics or books about why the church is in decline.
Comment 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Unclean: Meditations on Purity, Hospitality, and Mortality
Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more about Amazon Giveaway
This item: Unclean: Meditations on Purity, Hospitality, and Mortality