Asceticism, however, contorts desire from its essential nature into a strange and unrecognizable beast. It bends desire so far around that desire turns back onto itself and consumes its own tail. By advocating for desire only towards an unknowable abstraction, theology denies desire in its very essence, which is as an immediate and bodily drive. This is how the apologists for ascenticism argue that practicing death is in fact an attenuation of desire: they refuse to acknowledge that the essence of desire is a bodily drive.
Author Archive: Robert
Ironically, the satisfaction of the closed desire’s object is actually more enjoyable when approached through open desires. Sex is the best case in point: if the sexual act itself is the desire, then permission to accomplish the act or perhaps the lead-in to the act become the actual climax of the desire. Everything after the point where sex is “acquired” — that is, the sexual act itself — is an unnecessary afterthought and fundamentally empty.
Simply listing out these terms creates a kind of tension. Thinking about desire and the religious life evokes an image of a cold stone church with a black-robed pastor damning desire as a path to Hell. But desire has gotten a raw deal in our current religious climate: the prudishness and the fear of temptation has conflated “desire” with “covetousness”, and the result is that we have created an idol out of repression. We need a reboot on our theology of desire. We need it desperately.
Genesis 1 and 2 contain two modes of creation by God: if you read through the two chapters as a narrative, God first creates everything by decree and then creates everything by building up reality from the clay of Eden. And in both of these modes, the creation culminates in the creation of the human pairing Ã¢â‚¬â€ and even more, in the explicit charge to have sex!
Sexuality and Christian spirituality have had a rocky relationship: from the Apostle PaulÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s reluctant admission of marriage as a way to handle those who unfortunately Ã¢â‚¬Å“burn with passionÃ¢â‚¬Â (1Cor 7) to medieval asceticismÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s sexual renunciation to the contemporary puritanical disdain for sensuality, it seems like Christian spirituality and sex just donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t mix. But for the…continue reading.
Women seeking to connect with the transcendent have more sex, more sexual partners, and are less likely to use a condom. ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s one way to read the results of a finding from a recent study from the University of Kentucky. Now, most of our empirical knowledge in psychology comes from experiments on white mice and…continue reading.