A Lily Among the Thorns: Imagining a New Christian Sexuality
April 2007, Jossey-Bass
Author Miguel De La Torre, a well-respected ethicist and professor known for his innovative readings of Christian doctrine, rejects both the liberal and conservative prejudices about sex. He instead develops an ethic that is liberative yet grounded soundly in the Bible; a sexuality that celebrates God’s gift of great sex by fostering intimacy, vulnerability and openness between loving partners.
In A Lily Among the Thorns, De La Torre examines the Bible, current events, history and our culture-at-large to show how and why racism, sexism, and classism have distorted Christianity’s central teachings about sexuality. The author shows how the church’s traditionally negative attitudes toward sex in general—and toward women, people of color, and gays in particular—have made it difficult, if not impossible, to create a biblically based and just sexual ethic. But when the Bible is read from the viewpoint of those who have been marginalized in our society, preconceived notions about Christianity and sex get turned on their heads. Taking on hot-button topics such as pornography, homosexuality, prostitution, and celibacy, the author examines how “reading from the margins” provides a liberating approach to dealing with issues of sexuality.
A Note of Thanks ix
PART ONE Restoring Great Sex
1. Liberating the Female Body 13
2. Liberating the Body of Color 36
3. The Body and Its Pleasures 50
4. A Sexual Ethics for the Body 70
PART TWO Having Great Sex
5. Great Sex in Marriage 89
6. Sex and the Single Christian 108
7. Same-Sex Relationships 130
8. Predatory Sex 158
The Author 199