God, Sexuality, and the Self: An Essay 'on the Trinity'

God Sexuality and the Self An Essay on the Trinity 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

  • Title: God, Sexuality, and the Self: An Essay 'on the Trinity'
  • Author: Sarah Coakley
  • ISBN: 9780521552288
  • Page: 280
  • Format: Hardcover
  • 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 recoGod, 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.

    One thought on “God, Sexuality, and the Self: An Essay 'on the Trinity'”

    1. When does volume 2 go to press? I'll be re-reading this 'til it does. Like the grown-up theologian's version of a YA dystopian trilogy.

    2. Very rarely do I get upset when reading theological books, but Coakley managed with that feat. Her theology totale is just incomprehensible to me. I don't see how it is in any way anything new. What is it that she wants to bring in? Is it the emphasis on the ordinary church congregation? If so, then I think it is a good thing. But very many theologians (even Barth, or particularly Barth perhaps) have made theology that is close to the ordinary Christian believer in a particular church context. I [...]

    3. Coakley's main point: Anything we say about God as Trinity is also talking about the God-given, God-leading desire that is bound up in turn with gender and power in our souls and relationships. It's an excellent point, one she's been building to for decades. As systematic theology, this is superlative work, both precise and accessible.I'll leave it there for now, because I'm hoping to place a proper review in print later this year.

    4. Reading this book has revived my faith in theological writing (dead the past 6 years, if you have to ask, you shouldn't) and overwhelmed me jn a good way. It's beautiful. Prayers. Holy. A living theology. I've never read anything like this. It's revolutionized my prayer life and my thoughts on theology. Read it. Slowly. Like you would a book of poetry. Sarah Coakley. We're not done. Here's to reading everything you wrote. Thank you. I never rate books 5 stars. This book is worth it.

    5. This book deserves a savoring read, the kind that is accompanied by a hot beverage, silence, and a dictionary. It's worth the investment of attention and focus. Coakley has written essays that served as precursors to her first of five planned extended essays on core systematic theology subjects and here we see the payoff of an extended treatment in her, frankly stunning, consideration of the Trinity. If one has not read much in the way of systematic theology the magnitude of the contribution Coa [...]

    6. A very fine book with rich claims about the ways that contemplative prayer may revise our view of the Trinity, particularly the messy imbrication in the ways that the doctrine of the Trinity interfaces with human erotic desire and gender hierarchy. As a non-expert in theology, my engagement with the thesis was particularly aided by the structural metacommentary in the writing, the bibliographic notes, and the glossary. Would have liked a fuller introduction to contemplation as part of it; there [...]

    7. I found the book's central argument--that prayer allows us to connect to the inner workings of the Trinity, that gender stereotypes are undone through prayerful relationship with God, that desire itself is bound up with our desire for God, and that we can know and experience these things through the work of the Holy Spirit--very compelling. The book was well written and beautifully argued, not just through the writings of the Church Fathers but also through Christian art and field work on the pe [...]

    8. This creative thesis is well argued, but also a bit of a truism. Honestly, I don't know how to feel about it until I see volume two. It's like she's building to something. I just don't know what yet. Worth reading.

    9. I also finally finished a very dense theology book I have been working on called God, Sexuality, and the Self - An Essay ‘On The Trinity’ by Sarah Coakley. Definitely fit that category of deep work where there was plenty in it that was so specialized and over my head or just plain boring but like all deep work, worth the effort She spent a chapter exploring iconography of the Trinity and “the paradox in classic Christianity: the persistent orthodox refrain that God, qua God, is beyond gend [...]

    10. Gorgeously written book. I never imagined I would enjoy reading academic theology so much. For me, the point was not so much coming into agreement with all the things Coakley lays out (because I don't), but allowing it to challenge my presumptions and myself (which it certainly did). I read this for the pneumatology, and it delivered. There's some beautiful sketches of the Trinity here, somewhat like William Blake's on the cover, but more importantly it pulled me into the "dazzling darkness" of [...]

    11. Beautiful work that asks questions and points in a direction to pursue instead of arriving at defined conclusions. It particularly shines at warning of idolatrous tendencies in conservative/liberal stereotypes and humbly seeking a way through those dangers. Very much looking forward to the continuation of Coakley's project.

    12. This impressive work of systematic theology (or théologie totale, as Coakley would have it) sets forth some important suggestions concerning prayer, gender, and the Trinity. However, those pieces may not hang together quite so neatly as Coakley argues, depending on how one understands her analogy of divine and human desire. An important contribution nonetheless.

    13. A thought-provoking essay on divine desire in the triune nature of God and human desire in relation to the divine and to other people. In the course of her essay, Sarah Coakley perceptively engages with historical and contemporary theology, as well as the ascetic spirituality and practice.

    14. Synopsis: Coakely takes the langugae game of theology and puts its articulation in practice - in one chapter art, in anotger ecclesia sociology (fieldwork), but most of all (and throughout) in contemplative prayer. This incorporative practice with the Holy Spirit lends itself to a noetic slippage where source "Father," and hierarchy are resotred to their proper meaning. At the heart of her argument is a denial of the ""filioque" as a suitable question to ask. For Coakley, the restoration of hier [...]

    15. I blogged my initial thoughts when I began the book (escottjones.typepad/myques)I was intrigued, but also was displeased that she didn't seem to be in conversation with others whom I had read who covered similar material. And that desire of mine was never met, as none of those works/writers appeared in the book. The best chapter is the one in which she discusses the history of how the Trinity is represented in art. That chapter included lots of humour. I can imagine it was developed from a lectu [...]

    16. Some people used to cover sexy bookcovers so they could read them in public without embarrassment. I felt like covering up this bookcover. Trinity? Who takes that concept seriously today? Here Coakley is proposing this concept as a way to move off the dime on sexual and gender issues in christian churches ---which to some seem way out of proportion to the press they get.In the process she is breaking new inclusive ground. Having devised a method which she calls 'theologie totale' she uses texts [...]

    17. Coakley's method forces one to rethink how one does theology by starting from the contemplative experience itself, but moving outwards from there to incorporate traditional philosophy and theology, art history and criticism, gender theory, and the social sciences. Of these moves, I think that her attempt to incorporate the social sciences worked least successfully and some of her forays into art history told us nothing that a serious theologian or art historian did not already know. All the same [...]

    18. I appreciate what Coakley is doing here, but I'm a little disappointed in this book. Don't get me wrong, it's brilliant (hence the four star rating), I just would have liked a bit more constructive theology. There was too much summary and overview and barely any original, sustained argument. The summary was helpful, the critiques were incisive and clear, and the argument was good. Maybe I just didn't fully grasp everything and should re-read the book, or maybe more of the argument will be expoun [...]

    19. Coakley presents a dynamic view of the Trinity and the implications of the doctrine, in the first of a series of books engaging both theology and pressing cultural issues. Her treatment of the Trinity in the sexual language of the Fathers, shows that the Trinity is to be lived and experienced, "known" in a way that is different from mere intellectual assent. She exposes current tendencies toward binitarian thinking and unorthodox heirarchicalism within the Trinity, and sees as a way forward a gr [...]

    20. I'm glad I returned to this book and finished it. I found the first third of the book to be mind-numbingly boring. I kept with it because I felt she had something worthwhile to say (if she would only *say* it!). The second third began to be interesting and thought provoking and the last third was quite good. It took me 4 months to get through the first third (on and off again) and two days to finish it. Overall, however, worthwhile and thoughtful. Don't give up on it.

    21. I really wanted to enjoy and appreciate this book but while I appreciate much that she said, the book as a whole and her arguments did not come together for me in anything resembling a coherent or convincing fashion. I'll eagerly read more by her, though, as she clearly has important things to say.

    22. An excellent study of the Trinity, with the idea that our desire (specifically sexual desire) is an imaging of God's desire for us.

    23. This book ranks with Wesley Hill's Spiritual Friendship as one of the best books on Christianity and sexuality that I have read.

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