Love the Sin: Sexual Regulation and the Limits of Religious Tolerance

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NYU Press, 2003 - Psychology - 175 pages
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"In this dynamic legal context the publication of Janet R. Jakobsen and Ann Pellegrini's Love the Sin offers a smart, but controversial, intervention." Journal of the American Academy of Religion "Important . . . a fresh way to argue for gay rights and sexual freedom." Boston Phoenix "Love the Sin is a progressive contribution to discussions about sexual and religious freedom in a country where we find less of both than most politicians, religious thinkers, media moralists, and "average Americans" want to admit." Gay Today "A brilliant book, one that can move public conversations about sexual, racial, and religious difference beyond present assumptions and impasses. Love the Sin suggests that religion can become the ground for sexual freedom rather than the justification for sexual repression." Margaret R. Miles, author of Seeing and Believing: Religion and Values in the Movies "This impressive book provides analytical and strategic insights on the central obstacle to gay and lesbian freedom today: sexuality's treatment by religion. The authors' accessible voice, wide-ranging and original synthesis, and deep knowledge make the experience of reading this book a pleasure." Urvashi Vaid, former director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Policy Institute Sex. Religion. There is no denying that these two subjects are among the most provocative in American public life. Even the constitutional principle of church-state separation seems to give way when it comes to sex: the Supreme Court draws on theology as readily as it draws on case law when rendering decisions that touch on sexuality. In this compelling and carefully argued study, Janet R. Jakobsen and Ann Pellegrini examine this powerful and disturbing connection as they explore the reasons why secular institutions habitually use religion to regulate sexual life. From state legislatures to the halls of Congress and the Supreme Court, from daily newspapers to popular magazines and television talk shows, Jakobsen and Pellegrini illustrate the intensity of America's obsession with sex in the name of values and the dangers it poses to some of our most basic freedoms. Using a wide range of case studies, Love the Sin offers an insightful critique of the ways in which sexuality in general and homosexuality in particular are discussed and debated in the public arena. Additionally, the book sets forth constructive alternatives that highlight the vital links between sexual and religious freedom and expose the hazards of using religion as a justification for regulating sexuality. A timely, necessary, and refreshing contribution to the many debates surrounding religion, morality, and sex, Love the Sin boldly dreams an America that lives up to its promise of freedom and justice for all. A former policy analyst and lobbyist in Washington, D.C., Janet R. Jakobsen is Director of the Center for Research on Women at Barnard College. She is the author of Working Alliances and the Politics of Difference: Diversity and Feminist Ethics. Ann Pellegrini is Associate Professor of Drama at the University of California, Irvine. She is the author of Performance Anxieties: Staging Psychoanalysis, Staging Race."

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Love the sin: sexual regulation and the limits of religious tolerance

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The authors of this short but succinct study explore the connection between the traditions of Christianity and the political and social regulation of sexuality in America. They conclude that legal ... Read full review

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About the author (2003)

Ann Pellegrini is Associate Professor of Drama at the University of California, Irvine.

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