Eunuchs for the Kingdom of Heaven

Uta Ranke-Heinemann, Author, Uto Ranke-Heinemann, Author, Heinemann Uta Ranke, Author Doubleday Books $21.95 (360p) ISBN 978-0-385-26527-0
A bestseller in Europe, this erudite, impassioned attack on the Catholic Church's hostility toward sexual pleasure, women and the body is sure to spark controversy. German Catholic theologian Ranke-Heinemann argues that the historic Jesus opposed biases against women and evinced a positive attitude toward marriage but celibate theologians misinterpreted his message as a call to renounce marriage. Theology became the business of bachelors; sex was equated with sin. Excoriating the Church Fathers for their contemptuous attitude toward women, the author reviews the Church's positions on infanticide and abortion (often said to be the same), its revulsion for homosexuality and its ``embittered struggle'' against contraception. The Virgin Birth, she contends, is a New Testament metaphor, not a historical event. For expressing this opinion, she lost her ecclesiastical license to teach at a German university in 1987. Her scholarly polemic in Heinegg's flowing translation is crammed with absorbing sexual and religious lore. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 10/01/1990
Release date: 10/01/1990
Paperback - 368 pages - 978-0-14-016500-5
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