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God, Sexuality and the Self

An Essay on the Trinity


Publisher writes

God, Sexuality and the Self is a new venture in systematic theology. Sarah Coakley invites the reader to re-conceive the relation of sexual desire and the desire for God and - through the lens of prayer practice - to chart the intrinsic connection of this relation to a theology of the Trinity. The goal is to integrate the demanding ascetical undertaking of prayer with the recovery of lost and neglected materials from the tradition and thus to reanimate doctrinal reflection both imaginatively and spiritually. What emerges is a vision of human longing for the triune God which is both edgy and compelling: Coakley's theologie totale questions standard shibboleths on 'sexuality' and 'gender' and thereby suggests a way beyond current destructive impasses in the churches. The book is clearly and accessibly written and will be of great interest to all scholars and students of theology.

Author Information

Sarah Coakley

Sarah Coakley is Norris–Hulse Professor of Divinity at the University of Cambridge. Her recent publications include Religion and the Body (Cambridge University Press, 2000), Powers and Submissions: Philosophy, Spirituality and Gender (2002), Pain and Its Transformations (2008), The Spiritual Senses (with Paul L. Gavrilyuk, Cambridge University Press, 2011) and Sacrifice Regained (Cambridge University Press, 2012). Coakley is also the editor of Re-Thinking Gregory of Nyssa (2003) and co-editor (with Charles M. Stang) of Re-Thinking Dionysius the Areopagite (2009).

Judges' and contributors' comments

Martyn Percy: We’ve chosen things we think will be promising, that will stand the test of time.

Jane Williams: Coakley argues that desire is the most fundamental and telling facet of human identity, and that the Christian God, who is one yet three, calls us to desire the vision of ourselves as we are drawn into participation with the divine life.

Her thesis is built up through a searching engagement with the Fathers, with modern and post-modern philosophies of identity, and with practical research in praying communities.

This searching book refuses to see theology as a purely cerebral activity: instead, it is a way of encountering our deepest longings and allowing them to be transformed.

In a Christian world that is angry, loud and baffled about the nature and role of sexuality, Coakley’s approach offers a new way into a genuine theology of embodied beings.

Reader comments

Anne-Marie Naylor

10 October 2014 @ 13:11

Sounds brilliant - ordered.

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