Journal of Men, Masculinities and Spirituality 6.1 preview

Having just published an issue of Journal of Men, Masculinities and Spirituality we’re some way off the next (January 2012!), but for a brief preview the first article in press (responsible for introducing me to the golden nugget that is Christian Nymphos) is:

Holiness Sex: Conservative Christian Sex Practices as Acts of Sanctification by Ludger H. Viefhues-Bailey (LeMoyne College, Syracuse)

In this paper about conservative Christian hetero-sex advice manuals I will pursue two lines of inquiry: First, I will argue exegetically that these texts represent a particular modern intertwining of sexual and religious discourses. Here, the bodies of the Christian heterosexual couple are shaped as tension-filled sites: In their sexual bodies the Evangelical men and women, who consume and contribute to these texts, are tasked to negotiate and endure the antinomies of sexual discourses in high modernity (Scott Jackson) in addition to those of Christian theologies of grace. While these manuals combine a discourse that highlights the importance to freely enjoy sexual pleasures, they also echo a wider cultural sense that sexuality is a dangerous power in need of constant disciplining. In terms of theology, this complicated shaping of hetero-sex enables a body theology of grace, in which it remains constantly unclear how much agency and submission the Christian man or Christian wife have to perform in the drama of salvation.  As my second and theoretical line of inquiry, I will demonstrate how the proliferation of Christian advice products is part of the modernization of Evangelical heterosex discourse by creating a specific marketable and consumable identity of Christian sexuality.