God and Sex: What the Bible Really Says

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God and Sex: What the Bible Really Says

Michael Coogan

Publisher:Twelve

The Bible is full of narratives about sexual encounters, and modern-day readers have shown a widespread interest in what, exactly, it says about the subject. Scholars have turned their attention to the rigorous examination of biblical texts from historical, theological, and ethical perspectives. Still, many clergy and lay people continue to look upon these words (even the most cryptic, confusing, and bizarre ones) as authoritative literal statements. In addition, these misinterpreted texts are constantly used to 'legislate morality' and to promote 'family values' - selectively and misleadingly twisting what is written. As it stands, the gulf between the scholarly understandings of these texts and their popular appropriation today is a large one. Before the Bible can be applied to contemporary issues, it is vitally important that we take a careful look at what the Bible itself says— placing it in the contexts of the social worlds in which it was written. To know what the Bible really means, we must first actually determine what it meant when it was written, and apply this to the lives we lead, here and now. This is the mission of GOD AND SEX.

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