Abstract and Keywords
This chapter presents important representative historical Roman Catholic and Protestant views about sexual pleasure from the New Testament period to the present day. The author describes two dominant themes in contemporary feminist, womanist, and queer theologies: sexual pleasure as sacred and God-given (Carter Heyward, Mary Hunt, Jane Grovijahn); and sexual pleasure as having justice-making potential vis-à-vis patriarchy and heteronormativity (Patricia Beattie Jung, Karen Baker-Fletcher, Kelly Brown Douglas, Marvin Ellison, Marcella Althaus-Reid). These theological views on sexual pleasure will be assessed in light of Michel Foucault’s and Judith Butler’s postmodern views on sexuality. The chapter surveys some topics for future theological reflection about sexual pleasure in relation to the following: postcolonialism, disability, ageing, sado-masochism, and transgender and intersex identities. The author offers a modest proposal in theological eschatology, arguing that reflecting on sex in heaven from a feminist psychoanalytic perspective (Julie Kristeva) can open up productive ways of thinking theologically about sexual pleasure.
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