cover image Tantric Jesus: The Erotic Heart of Early Christianity

Tantric Jesus: The Erotic Heart of Early Christianity

James Hughes Reho. Inner Tradition/Destiny, $19.95 trade paper (360p) ISBN 978-1-62055-561-3

Episcopalian priest Reho peels back the Platonic influence on Christianity to uncover a radical rearticulation of spiritual practice in this engrossing guide. Using a comparative lens to bring together tantric Hinduism with writings by church fathers, he shows how the body-shaming, change-fearing goals of contemporary Christianity run counter to its original message. Reho gently challenges the popular notion of tantra as exotic sexual mastery while showing how eroticism can be holy. He lays out five key roots for a tantric Christian theology: the world is inherently good, activity (not repose) is divine, the body is a holy vehicle for transformation, erotic energy and unexpected behavior are required of the faithful, and Christ meets the definition of a guru. He then offers clear, simple guides to spiritual practices (breath exercises, prayer mantras, using icons, washing feet, and sexual connection) that can open believers up to powerful change. The weaving together of tantric thinkers and Christian theologians is nearly seamless and effectively argues for their compatibility. Some readers might not be ready to fully commit to the complete revision of Christianity, or may balk at the rich theological sections, but the work beautifully serves any Christ follower seeking concrete, simple suggestions for body-based spiritual practice. (Jan.)