The Erotic Word: Sexuality, Spirituality, and the Bible

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9780195156522: The Erotic Word: Sexuality, Spirituality, and the Bible
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Historically, the Bible has been used to drive a wedge between the spirit and the body. In this provocative book, David Carr argues that it can--and should--do just the opposite. Sexuality and spirituality, Carr contends, are intricately interwoven: when one is improverished, the other is warped. As a result, the journey toward God and the life-long engagement with our own sexual embodiment are inseparable. Humans, the Bible tells us, both male and female, were created in God's image, and eros--a fundamental longing for connection that finds abstract good in the pleasure we derive from the stimulation of the senses--is a central component of that image. The Bible, particularly the Hebrew Bible, affirms erotic passion, both eros between humans and eros between God and humans. In a sweeping examination of the sexual rules of the Bible, Carr asserts that Biblical "family values" are a far cry from anything promoted as such in contemporary politics. He concludes that passionate love--our preoccupaton therewith and pursuit thereof--is the primary human vocation, that eros is in fact the flavoring of life.

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About the Author:


David Carr is Professor of Old Testament at Union Theological Seminary.

Review:


"In The Erotic Word, David Carr shows us how we can read the Bible as literature meant to challenge and empower us. He combines close reading, cultural and historical contexts, and apt personal observations to illuminate the text. Carr's meditations on the human condition, with a special focus on sexuality, spirituality, love, desire, marriage, divorce, and gender relationships, are truly engaging. His writing brings together a community of scholars, writers, artists, teachers and readers-as well as what he has learned from his own family, friends, and students. This book has much to teach us about how to read, love, and live fully in the world."--Kyoko Mori, author of Stone Field, True Arrow and Polite Lies: On Being a Woman Caught Between Cultures


"The Erotic Word is honest, accessible, and always thought-provoking. Carr is clear that there is no one biblical view of sexuality, but he makes a compelling case that the Bible can be read to embrace sexual eros as well as to give us insights into love gone awry."--Judith Plaskow, author of Standing Again at Sinai: Judaism from a Feminist Perspective


"A wonderfully fresh, intelligent, and delightful resource for those who seek to make connections in Hebrew Scripture between erotic power and divine life, patriarchal structures and the struggles for liberation. The Sacred whispers through these pages!"--Carter Heyward, Episcopal Divinity School


"This is a lucid, fresh, and learned study of the Bible's complex views of sexuality and their impact on later readers. The description of eroticism and spirituality in the Bible and beyond is rich and subtle. While writing from a Christian perspective, Carr reads Scripture with an honesty and intensity that will engage readers outside his faith community as well."--Michael V. Fox, Halls-Bascom Professor of Hebrew,University of Wisconsin-Madison, and author of The Song of Songs and the Ancient Egyptian Love Songs


"An excellent book on an important topic-a remarkable combination of readability and scholarship, sexuality and spirituality."--Marcus J. Borg, author of Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time and Reading the Bible Again for the First Time


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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780195181623: The Erotic Word: Sexuality, Spirituality, and the Bible

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ISBN 10:  019518162X ISBN 13:  9780195181623
Publisher: Oxford University Press, 2005
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