Prof. Adrian Thatcher
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Liberating Sex - A Christian Sexual Theology

I still don't like the title of this book, but SPCK wouldn't accept Love Making, which was my preferred title. They thought it might attract the wrong sort of reader! Liberating Sex is my first foray into 'sexual theology', as James Nelson was then calling it. The Sunday Times got wind of it before it was published, and managed to get a couple of bishops (who had not read it) to condemn it. Apparently the error was that it was 'liberal'. In fact, like all my books, it is very pro-marriage, and it affirms the faith of the creeds. 'Liberal' seems to mean anything that unsettles deeply conservative temperaments (which are often unquestioning, misogynistic and homophobic). In the early 90s, I became convinced of the truth of some feminist theology, especially feminist analyses of patriarchy, and I came to see that Christian sexual teaching, could and should, be distinguished from the patriarchal framework that has largely shaped it. Patriarchy still creates dysfunctionality among the churches, and lies at the root of the opposition to women priests and bishops. Re-reading it now I find some parts of it naive, but I do not regret anything I wrote between its covers. The cover blurb says 'Sex before marriage, cohabitation, marriage and divorce, sexual friendships, lesbian and gay sexuality - these are among the issues explored in this bold and courageous book. All are discussed in the light of a renewed trinitarian theology... In many ways, Liberating Sex is a critical response to the 1991 Bishops' Statement, Issues in Human Sexuality. But the book is much more than that: it offers nothing less than a constructive, comprehensive and coherent theology of sex for the 1990s and beyond'.
SPCK 1993 978-0281046997
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