It was the worst of times, it was the best of times. Over a decade ago when our book A Sense of Sexuality first appeared, these sentiments seemed an accurate description. Promiscuity and pornography were prevalent in U.S. culture. Domestic violence and sexual addictions were on the rise. Charges of sexual abuse were leveled against leaders in both church and society. But this distress was not all. In the midst of these negative realities, sometimes prompted by them, people of faith were finding their voice. In faith communities and religious congregations, in the protected settings of pastoral counseling and spiritual care, in candid discussions among colleagues and friends, in publications and public debate--Christians gained confidence to speak the truth about their experience of sexuality. Here in Wisdom of the Body we attempt again to explore the Christian sense of sexuality, drawing on theological resources, psychological and social research, and the communual wisdom of Christian lives. This book retains several chapters from Part 1, "The Possibilities," and Part 3, "The Arenas of Intimacy," in A Sense of Sexuality. Each of these chapters has been modified slightly to reflect developments over the past decade. There new chapters expand our earlier discussion of gender by considering femininity, masculinity, and the complicated questions of the differences (real and imagined) between men and women. We offer a new chapter on homosexuality as well. The "Additional Resources" listing at the end of each chapter is completely updated to reflect the wealth of valuable new material now available.
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