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Unprotected Texts: The Bible's Surprising Contradictions About Sex and Desire Hardcover – Jan 17 2011

3 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Harperone (Jan. 17 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061725587
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061725586
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.9 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 499 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #437,763 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

Review

“[Knust mines] the Bible for its earthiest and most inexplicable tales about sex…to show that the Bible’s teachings on sex are not as coherent as the religious right would have people believe.” (Newsweek)

“[An] impressive and highly readable analysis of Old and New Testament Bible stories.... For those wanting to understand the Bible as a chronicle of human conduct for achieving the goals of survival, peace, and fulfillment, this is a treasure.” (Booklist (starred review))

From the Back Cover

Bible scholar Jennifer Wright Knust addresses the big questions that dominate today's discussions and debates when it comes to sex and the Bible: Is premarital sex a sin? When, and in what contexts, is sexual desire appropriate? With whom can I legitimately have sex? Are same-sex relations permissible? In an era where the phrases, "the Bible says," and "God says," are so often exploited, it is time to consider what the Bible actually does—or does not—say about monogamy, polygamy, homosexuality, gender roles, and sex.

Unprotected Texts directly and pointedly takes on widely shared misconceptions about sex, arguing that the Bible cannot—and should not—serve as a rulebook for sexual morality, despite popular claims to the contrary. From the Song of Songs' lyrical eroticism to the rigid sexual rules of Leviticus—and everything in between—Knust parses the Bible's contradictory, often surprising messages.

Skillfully revealing the latest insights from critical scholarship, Knust provides a compassionate and liberating model for navigating these deeply personal issues that affect us all.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
In Unprotected Texts: The Bible's Surprising Contradictions About Sex and Desire by Jennifer Wright Knust writes:

'Whatever I am teaching...I usually begin by asking participants what they wish the bible said about the topic at hand...Whatever we wish for, I point out, probably can be found somewhere in the Bible, which is why it is so important to admit that we have wishes, whatever they may be. We are not passive recipients of what the Bible says, but active interpreters who make decisions about what we will believe and what we will affirm. Admitting that we have wishes, and that our wishes matter, is therefore the first step to developing an honest and faithful interpretation.' page 241.

There are extremists on both sides of the traditional family values debate that make most Christians roll their eyes and groan. Certainly they are bringing their 'wishes' to the biblical text and using them as a weapon for their particular side of the debate. Knust takes the complicated book called the Bible and shows that, while it is an excellent guide for life and sexuality in modern society, it is not an exact rule book for sex and desire and cannot be used as such.

The topics of discussion are: the Bible and the joy of sex, biblical marriage, evil impulse (disordered and ordered desire), sexual politics, strange flesh, and bodily parts (should be entitled bodily fluids). While I do not agree with many of the things the author asserts, she is correct that we need to have a serious look at where our Scriptural support comes from for our particular viewpoint. Too often our modern sexual perspective is projected back onto the ancient texts and societal views, leading to misinterpretation.
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Format: Hardcover
This is an interesting read and particularly useful for giving a well-deserved "poke on the nose" to the religious right. It is very readable and brings in a number of interesting contemporaneous sources. However, Professor Knust plays a little fast and loose with facts (e.g.: after dealing with Jesus' statement on remarriage of divorced persons, she later claims that "the Pastor's" teaching on the remarriage of younger widows is at variance with Jesus' nonexistent general prohibition of remarriage) and I'm not sure that all of her historical references would accepted by mainstream historians. An interesting read but one which must be taken with a proverbial grain of salt . . .
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Format: Hardcover
Good to see some in depth comparisons for a change on this subject in the Bible. Enjoyed the authors point of view. Too many people fail to take off the Religion Glasses when doing this.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Well written and a great resource for those with a more modern perception of sexuality. Denounces the familiar interpretation of scripture that are used to condem
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
bias and blasphemous. what was worse was my professor was a 'christian' and was using this text to teach in a secular university.
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