Tuesday, November 09, 2004


Charles Henderson from CrossCurrents, the excellent journal of the Association for Religion and Intellectual Life (USA), writes:

'Given spam filters that ruthlessly monitor content with a real of imagined relationship to the topic of our Fall issue, I hesitate to describe what lies in wait for those visiting our website or opening the pages of our latest issue. If you are interested either in the relationship between religion and sexuality in general, or the current state of the debate about this topic in religious communities or academic circles worldwide, our essays are essential reading.

'As editor Catherine Madsen puts it in her strong editorial: "When religion looks at sex from a distance, purging the erotic from its speech or explaining it away as tame allegory, it forfeits a measure of its civilizing power. The line in the old Anglican marriage service—long gone, of course, from the new one—was "with my body I thee worship." Worship meant something parallel to honor or adore in those days, not yet something exclusively religious, but the very shift in meaning underlines the validity of the instinct; if we cannot worship our lovers whom we can see, how shall we worship God whom we cannot? A language of adoration cannot be a language of inexperience, real or feigned. It can only be a language of experience, in which spirit is at home in flesh."

'Looking at sex from a distance, purging it from our pages, or explaining it away, is definitely not what we are up to in our Fall issue.'

The full index of text-available feature articles from CrossCurrents back issues is certainly worth checking out, too.

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