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Inter-Varsity Press The End of Sexual Identity: Why Sex Is Too Important to Define Who We Are

Concepts like "gay" or "straight" are relatively recent developments in human history. We let ourselves be defined by socially constructed notions of sexual identity and sexual orientation, even though these are not distinctly biblical or Christian ways of thinking about sex. Anthropologist Jenell Williams Paris offers a Christian framework for sexuality that accounts for complex postmodern realities.

She unpacks how sexual identities are socially constructed in our cultural context, and assesses problems with common cultural and Christian understandings of heterosexuality and homosexuality. Ultimately, linking sexual feelings to human identity leads us to a dead end. Avoiding simplistic moral exhortation about sexual behavior, Paris argues that the Christian tradition holds a distinct vision for sexuality without sexual identity categories. The End of Sexual Identity moves beyond culture war impasses to open up new space and vocabulary for conversations with people in diverse communities both inside and outside the church.
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