Sunday, 18 July 2010

Sarah Coakley on the church's sex crisis

The new ABC Religion and Ethics site features a three-part series by Sarah Coakley on the current sex crises in the Catholic and Anglican churches: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3. This sketches an argument that Coakley develops fully in her forthcoming book, The New Asceticism (T&T Clark 2011).

7 Comments:

Paul Tyson said...

It is interesting to read Sarah Coakley’s piece and then look at the comments on the ABC post. Thus far all posts except one (this was the one suggesting that perhaps critics had not read what SC had written) confirm SC’s argument exactly. For the responses fit the knee jerk reactions and binary caricatures SC seeks to challenge exactly. In the responses progressive libertarianism embedded in pop psychology assumes that all expressions of consenting sexual intimacy must be celebrated. This apparently sexually healthy stance sees the only alternative to itself as an abusive fundamentalist fruitcake biblicist conservativism which is homophobic, impossibly outdated and intrinsically repressive and abusive. SC is trying to point out the profound inner tensions within this outlook, and she seeks to question the assumed fixity of the evaluative binary this outlook sets up. The fact that a very carefully worded piece by her on this topic failed totally (if posted responses are anything to go by) indicates just how strong her case is.

Anonymous said...

Great articles, but ugh, the comments! It's so obnoxious to see the New Atheist wannabes spit empty rhetoric against Sarah Coakley! As if she's really part of the problem.

Anonymous said...

Really interesting article series. But as anonymous above stated; 'ugh, the comment!'

Antonio Manetti said...

Once Coakley misconstrued Gary Wills' views on celibacy and the punishment of pedophiIe priests, it was harder to take the article seriously.

Scott Stephens said...

Hi everyone - I couldn't agree more about the low standard of the comments. It is attributable to the extraordinarily vicious band of roving atheists that tend to swamp any article that touches on religion. As the moderator of all such comments, I only let the most intelligent ones through (you should have seen the others!). So, if I may, can I urge you by the bowels of Christ to model on a public site like the ABC's Religion & Ethics what intelligent public dialogue might look like? Once the article is up on the site, the only thing that gives it "life" is the discussion it generates. So please ...

Bud Atwood said...

Bowels of Christ! Okay!

Paul Tyson said...

Good point Scott. I thought about jumping in on the ABC chat with this conversation, but the comments as they are just seemed to make a totally unbeatable case demonstrating how right SC is. In a bizarre sense, the comments were quite perfect and I felt there was nothing I could add to them. Further – to continue in a King Jamesish fashion – I thought nothing much was likely to be gained if it tried “kick against the pricks”. (Bowles, pricks, “those who pisseth against the wall” etc etc… don’t you love the KJV!) But, seriously, your point in general is very well made. Yet, because you have such excellent material on the ABC site I’m sure the tone will pick up as the compulsive Christo bashers just get board, and those with real interest get more and more engaged. But I will certainly look for opportunities to chip in as they arise. FABULOUS site Scott! God bless Aunty (ie ABC) for giving this amazing project its place in the sun.

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