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The sexual celibate (A Doubleday Image book) Paperback – 1979

4.2 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Series: A Doubleday Image book
  • Paperback: 309 pages
  • Publisher: Image Books (1979)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385149026
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385149020
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,853,006 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Steven H Propp TOP 100 REVIEWER on February 21, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Donald J. Goergen is a Dominican author and theologian who has taught Christology and spirituality for many years, and was provincial of the Dominican friars of the Central Province in the United States. He has written many other books such as Fire of Love: Encountering the Holy Spirit, The Theology of Priesthood, The Death and Resurrection of Jesus:, The power of love: Christian spirituality and theology, etc.

He wrote in the Introduction to this 1974 book, "It is not easy to write, nor present to the public, a book which contains many of my own personal experiences, spiritual struggles, and theological convictions. Nevertheless, a book such as this is necessary. 'The Sexual Celibate' is based upon the growing conviction that friendship is not detrimental but central to celibate living, that celibate persons are also sexual persons, and that celibate life is a profound and rewarding way of living. The strength of this book is its attempt to bring together celibacy and sexuality; the weakness is that it leaves much unsaid about our life in Christ... Another strength is the open and public discussion of issues which too easily and too often are detrimentally passed over." (Pg. v)

He observes, "I see both celibate and married people struggling with their sexual lives as well as spiritual lives...
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Format: Hardcover
Having long held that most of the unhealthy attitudes to sexuality are at root the cause of Christian moralising and that those who speak of celibacy are repressing important parts of themselves, the author is hardly what one would call repressed; his attitude to sexuality is healthy and yet he stands within the mainstream of Roman Catholic orthodoxy and clearly knows what he is talking about. He takes modern psychology into account and cannot be accused of being out of touch either with himself or with the wider-world.

He begins with a lucid account of the celibate tradition and the theologies of sexuality which lie in the different world religions and then traces, in detail, the development of the Christian theology of sexuality. He deals with the Yahwist creation account and of its view of the sexes as necessary for one another and how the fully mature human needs relationships, he accepts the erotic element in the Song of Songs and does not see the spiritualising of it as opposed to the original, erotic nature of the poetry; indeed spirituality and sexuality need integration and any theology that sets the one over against the other is untrue to a Christian view of the wholeness of man. Our relationships have to be sacramental of our relationship with God and we must express our love of God by our love of people. If Jesus was fully human then he was a sexual being in its completeness; thus is he was celibate then it is possible to be a sexual human and yet be celibate. Paul condemns promiscuity because it does not speak of the faithful love of God. Where Paul speaks of sexuality as dangerous, we must remember the context in which he was writing to Corinth.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a must read for those contemplating religious and consecrated life. It is also must reading for those in formation or who have been vowed/ ordained / consecrated for many years.

The author tackles the hard issues of being celibate. Its frankness is its strength. It tackles issues such as homosexuality, hetrosexuality, masturbation, the spiritual life, the psychosexual issues, marriage, Mary and Jesus sexuality and viriginity and other associated topics.

The author concludes and affirms acceptance of those who are totally themselves, of being both sexual and celibate and spiritual beings. None of these are mutually exclusive. They should be rejoiced and integrated into the total person. Not having some of these components can lead to a loveless life which misses the point of being a consecrated/ vowed/ religous/ ordained person living the life of Christ.

This book is one of those books which can be read in a discussion group with others in formation. It is one of those books which you would grab throughout your life as you grow into your vows and pass through different phases and experiences of your spiritual/ sexual life. It's one to talk to your spiritual director with.

Even though this book was written in 1979, over thirty years ago, its comments are timeless as the issues around sexuality and the spiritual are also timeless.
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