Shameless: A sexual reformation (2019)
Amazon UK: Shameless
Standpoint: 1 Fully inclusive and affirming
Genre(s): Memoir/autobiography, Spirituality, and Theology
Topic(s): Accepting one's sexuality, Biblical studies, Discrimination against and hostility towards LGBT+ people, Ethics, Gender identity, Inclusive Christianity, Journeys towards acceptance, Same-sex relationships, Scripture/tradition/reason, Spirituality, and Transgender people
Especially suitable for: Those struggling to accept their sexuality or gender identity, Workers with young people, and Young people
Nadia Bolz-Weber’s book offers a full-blown overhaul of our harmful and antiquated ideas about sex, gender, and our bodies. Christians are obsessed with sex. But not in a good way. For nearly two thousand years, this obsession has often turned destructive, inflicting pain, suffering, and guilt on countless people of all persuasions and backgrounds. In Shameless, Bolz-Weber calls for a reformation. To make her case, she offers experiences from her own life and stories from her parishioners alongside biblical theology to explore what the church has taught, and the harm those teachings have caused. Along the way, she re-examines patriarchy, sex, and power with candour but also with hope, because in her heart she believes “the Gospel is powerful enough, transgressive enough, and beautiful enough to heal not only the ones who have been hurt but also those who have done the hurting.” This is by far Bolz-Weber’s most personal book yet, revealing intimate and emotional details about her life while offering a reading experience that is as entertaining and affirming as it is intellectually robust and liberating. For anyone who has been harmed by the shaming sexual messages so prevalent in religion, this book is for you.
‘As a bi Christian I picked up this book expecting it to speak into how any shame I feel about my sexuality has been put there by man not God. But I found it did much more: it spoke into all areas of my life where I feel shame and helped me to realise that God’s love extends to the whole of us, not just the parts of ourselves that we like and accept, but the parts that we don’t like.’
— Member of Jayne Ozanne’s book club
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