Shameless: A Sexual Reformation

Nadia Bolz-Weber. Convergent, $25 (224) ISBN 978-1-60142-758-8
In this mix of memoir and call to action, Bolz-Weber (Pastrix) draws on experiences from friends, congregants, and her life growing up evangelical in order to offer a new framework for Christian teachings about sex, gender, and relationships. A former pastor, Bolz-Weber expertly sets her critique of Christianity’s current teachings and her own ideas for reform in dialogue with biblical texts, early and recent Christian thinkers, and evangelical cultural models for femininity, masculinity, and sex. Her aim is to retrieve what’s of value from within Christianity—and posit what is missing and needed—in order to create a more forgiving, empowering community that encompasses the many Christians (and non-Christians) who find themselves left out in the cold by the church. Bolz-Weber proposes dropping the abstinence-only approach by instead using concern as the criteria for sexual health. By this standard, a devout Christian with concern for his or her spiritual health would abstain from sex before marriage. More concern for healthy sexuality from Christian teachers would also, in Bolz-Weber’s estimation, allow room for rethinking “sexual ethics, gender, orientation, extramarital sex, and the inherent goodness of the human body.” The book is aimed at multiple readerships: disaffected and alienated Christians; ex-Christians who left the church due to restrictive, problematic, and heteronormative teachings; and the still-committed Christians who struggle with those same teachings. Accessibly written, Bolz-Weber’s powerful book effectively presents sexually liberating and inclusive guidance within a Christian context. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 10/08/2018
Release date: 01/29/2019
Genre: Nonfiction
Hardcover - 192 pages - 978-1-78622-135-3
Ebook - 978-1-60142-760-1
Paperback - 224 pages - 978-1-60142-759-5
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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