The New Asceticism (Paperback)

Sexuality, Gender and the Quest for God

By Sarah Coakley

Bloomsbury Continuum, 9781441103222, 160pp.

Publication Date: November 5, 2015

List Price: 24.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


Each chapter of The New Asceticism concentrates on a contentious issue in contemporary theology - the role of women in the churches, homosexuality and the priesthood, celibacy and the future of Christian asceticism - in an original thesis about the nature of desire which may start to heal many contemporary wounds. Professor Coakley is as familiar with the Bible and the Early Fathers as she is with the writings of Freud and Jung, and she draws heavily on Gregory of Nyssa's theology of desire in what she proposes. She points the way through the false modern alternatives of repression and libertinism, agape and eros, recovering a way in which desire can be freed from associations with promiscuity and disorder, and forging a new ascetical vision founded in the disciplines of prayer and attention.

About the Author

Sarah Coakley is Norris-Hulse Professor of Divinity at the University of Cambridge, UK and was previously Mallinckrodt Professor of Divinity at Harvard Divinity School, USA. She was an assistant curate at Littlemore, Oxford, for 7 years after her ordination in 2000 and is currently an Honorary Canon of Ely Cathedral.