Love Human and Divine

Reflections on Love, Sexuality, and Friendship

L. William Countryman

Mar/2005, 88 Pages, PAPERBACK, 4 x 6

ISBN-13: 9780819221704

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Questions around sexuality have been major ones for the Episcopal and other mainline churches in recent years. Those questions have heated up substantially in the last couple years in most mainline denominations, particularly in the Episcopal Church. In this short book, based on lectures that Bill Countryman has given in the US, as well as abroad, he explores the intersection of sexuality and spirituality, and their relationship to the biblical texts, to our relationship to God, and to one another. Christians have long tried to separate eros and agape--eros being the more passionate form of love and agape being the "holy" one. Countryman argues that this is an over-interpretation of the linguistic differences of the original Greek, and that there can be no difference between the two. Christians have been very uncomfortable with the idea of passion, but have been unable to completely dispense with it, given that The Song of Songs is part of our Bible and that God is portrayed there as passionate. In this important book, Countryman explores how God's passion and our passion meet, in communion with one another, and in community.

L. William Countryman has authored numerous books for scholars and laity. He is a retired professor of New Testament from Church Divinity School of the Pacific.

"It is said that one of the three great needs of the Church in our time is for a theology of the physical. If that be true--and I have absolutely no doubt but that it is--then it is equally true that Bill Countryman has here created a foundational document upon which we can, with safety, begin to build such a holy piece of work." --Phyllis Tickle, author and lecturer


"The church has wrestled with sexuality, demonized the body and damaged our erotic lives. Yet Bill Countryman finds in scripture a saving grace-the erotic love of God-and with this restores to us a passionate, powerful, intimate theology. Once again, Bill Countryman is the pathfinder, our guide to a new church." --Nora Gallagher, author of Things Seen and Unseen, Practicing Resurrection, and the forthcoming novel The Shape of Things to Come

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