Women, Celibacy and the Church

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Women, Celibacy and the Church

Celibacy isn't just for priests and nuns—it’s for every unmarried Christian. This scholarly Protestant study unfolds a rich Christian theology of the single life. Learn how the gift of self, reserved for God, can fill a life with meaning.

This book offers a historical survey of celibacy in the church and the theological basis for what many Christians experience in their own lives. By examining the Hebrew and Christian scriptures, early church writings of East and West, and commentators of the Reformation until today, Annemarie S. Kidder develops a theology of the single life applicable to both women and men, Protestant and Catholic. A revealing study of the theology and practice of celibacy, this book offers a concise overview on the topic by exploring the primary historical sources. It examines the biblical antecedents of the practice, the stories of the Apocryphal Acts of the Apostles, and the views of early commentators and church fathers, such as Origen, Tertullian, Methodius, John Chrysostom, and Augustine. The views on celibacy of such church reformers as Martin Luther and John Calvin are examined also, as well as contemporary treatments of sexuality, sexual activity, and the current debates regarding chastity and abstinence in the church.

Paperback / 304 pages
Dimensions: 6 x 9 1/4