Paul writes – enviously reading this post from good friend Steve Taylor reminded me of a book I pre-ordered some months ago, and which is due out in September 10 or in 2011 depending on what sources you read. It’s by Sarah Coakley and is titled The New Asceticism.
Each chapter in this new book concentrates on a highly contentious issue in contemporary theology - the role of women, homosexuality, celibacy and so forth, but in a way to argue for an entirely new ascetical theology.
Professor Coakley is familiar with the Bible and the Early Fathers as she is with the writings of Freud and Jung and her thesis is entirely original and may start to heal many contemporary wounds.
Coakley draws heavily upon the theology of St Gregory of Nyssa in her argument. For Gregory desire as thwarted, chastened, transformed, renewed and finally intensified in God, bringing forth spiritual fruits. This points the way through the false modern alternatives of repression and libertarianism, between agape and eros and has curiously many points of contact with Freud.
In this way homoerotic desire at least could be potentially released from its cultural and biblical associations with promiscuity and disorder.
Table of Contents
- Pleasure Principles: A theology of desire
- The Woman at the Altar
- Other Voices Other Worlds: Homosexuality
- Trinity Prayer and Sexuality
- Deepening Practices: Ascetial and Mystical Theology.