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Sexual Issues

Kevin Mayhew

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Product Code: 1501218

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Regular Price: £34.99

Special Price: £27.99

Quick Overview

Understanding and advising in a Christian context
This important book provides information and advice to priests, ministers, pastoral workers and others in positions of leadership who need to be well-informed when helping people in their care. It addresses 15 issues which daily impact the life of the Church, including:

  • Homosexuality
  • Cohabitation
  • Sex and the internet
  • Abuse within parishes

The contributing authors are specialists in their respective fields and, through the use of case studies and practical advice, they provide an understanding of sexual issues which will enable Christian leaders to work with people who are dealing with these issues.

The book is written in a clear, stimulating, practical, and accessible style for non-specialist readers, making it a vital source of information.
  • Extra Information
  • Reviews


Product Code1501218
NameSexual Issues
SupplierKevin Mayhew
AuthorEdited by Brendan Geary & Joanne Marie Greer
Short DescriptionUnderstanding and advising in a Christian context
Pack Size1
Count464 Pages
Date Published31 Jan 2010
Product Link


Sexual Issues pmd12
This is a useful “something for everybody” book that is worth having... Review by Jeffrey Heskins, Diocesan Director of Ordinands and Vocations (Pratical Theology)
Star Rating
'The online reviews at Kevin Mayhew praise the arrival of this volume. It is an ambitious work aimed at pastoral practitioners and written by “specialists.” It could easily have been a bigger book but at £34.99 it is already an expensive paperback, but is it worth it?

On balance I think it probably is and the editors have done well to get it together. Their aim “is an attempt to bring insights and knowledge in the area of psychology and psychotherapy to people who are actively involved in or training for ministry.” Editing any book always takes a risk with what the contributors you have chosen will produce and the 14 different contributors to this volume bring a variety of styles and approaches in attempting to tackle such a diversity of sexual issues. They have gone a long way to meeting that primary aim.

Much of it is written with an authority which tells the reader they are writing from first-hand experience. Victims and perpetrators in the parish by Tony Robinson et al. is a fine example of that. There is a clear layout; it provides definition, description, what to look out for and guidelines. It casts the pastoral eye beyond the obvious victim to secondary victims; parishioners and even Church leaders who feel responsible for the appointment of one who they thought trustingly of. It asks the question; how do we mourn that kind of loss? It deals with healing without avoiding the issue that a crime has been committed. Similarly Geary and Moore on sexuality in ministerial relationships does the same, opening up the complexities of the pastoral relationship, asking what it means to be “sexual.” It offers believable case studies and sensible tips on self reflection and what to take to supervision. For me the gold medal goes to Jocelyn Bryan on sexuality and ageing. In an age and social climate when we focus so much on sex as a feature of youthful vigour, Bryan invites us to open our eyes to an entire category of the human race about whom we make the most shameful assumptions. This sensitive and insightful contribution looks at what happens to touch and affection when a partner dies and includes a section on elderly gay and lesbian couples. It has changed the way I think. Sex and the Internet produces some good statistical material and facing the reader with the whole question of virtual lifestyles as opposed to real ones and challenging assumptions of what constitutes addiction. Most interesting here were the number of “recovery” websites that exist where people support each other online and the use of spirituality and “faith-based” language in online recovery. Kevin Kelly on cohabitation was short but challenging, examining the concept of commitment and looking at cohabitation as an expression of “doing your own thing.” I liked his idea that cohabitation might be viewed as a rebellion for couples to enter marriage on their own terms rather than that of their parents. Geary and Greer on masturbation resented
a balanced chapter with good research material but occasionally drifted into generalized assumptions based on the data. “People over 55 may be experiencing the general decline in sexual needs” (p. 78). Decline? It’s just different—read Bryan. It was balanced but would have been useful to explore whether masturbation might simply be a pleasure without assuming a hang-up or deficiency. Wilson on homosexuality was disappointing; slipping into unhelpful prescriptives; “Clergy need to…” “Churches should…” “In my opinion overt acts of homophobia simply should not be tolerated within any congregation” (p. 162) is a challenging statement, but how do you go about not tolerating the intolerant? Give me some strategy! There was a poor bibliography for a subject which had been written on so extensively and no advice offered that could better that of James B. Nelson writing in “Embodiment” in 1978. The round-up chapters on spirituality and theology are marked contrasts. For this reviewer the chapter on theology and sexuality was useful
on paradigm shifts and became interesting when the concept of new experiences challenging old pre-conceptions got underway, but he lost me after Natural Law, Aristotle, the Stoics and Thomas Aquinas. Other readers may respond differently. However, the chapter on Sexuality and Spirituality was very sexy and should not be missed. Here Cook opens up ideas of relationship, intimacy, nakedness, desire, difference and mystery and in so doing invites the reader to consider sexuality as concerned with self, other and the transcendent order (God). Essentially what he says is that the way we avoid dealing with sexuality is a novel way of avoiding the real issue of Christian spirituality; that resonates with me. This is a useful “something for everybody” book that is worth having. There is a sequel waiting to be written.' (Posted on 23/02/2012)
This Book May Help Understanding but its Advice Lack Biblical Clarity Review by Paul Adans - Triple Helix Journal
Star Rating
This is an engagingly written, substantial book from 13 international specialists. Its strapline should attract Christian health professionals and pastoral ministers, but will it meet their expectations?
Certainly, it addresses contemporary issues only, and references recent quality research. The discussion of sexual development and practice is largely in the context of the deChristianised moral climate of westernised countries, current ecumenical church postures, and the impacted of the internet. Key issues including gender identity, sexual preferences, abuse and perversions are given detailed and compassionate treatment. The implications of cohabitation are explored sympathetically, as are the many intrusions that threaten to destabilise marriage.
So, the book provides a good basis for understanding how people might see their sexual issues and the so-called ‘enlightened’ sexual agendas of our society. However, those who believe the Bible is God’s words will be disappointed that the theological reflection view scripture through the lens of experience, rather than applying scripture to out confused sexual mores. Surprisingly, the authors have limited themselves to Jesus’ response in the Gospels and they conclude that Jesus had nothing directly to say. The rest of the bible is excluded. Thus, this book may help understanding but its advice lack biblical clarity.
(Posted on 11/04/2011)
This book seeks to information and advice to priests, ministers, pastoral workers and others in ……leadership Review by Chris Jenkins - The Journal of the Association for Pastoral and Spiritual Care and Counselling
Star Rating
This book seeks to information and advice to priests, ministers, pastoral workers and others in ……leadership. The editors have brought together an impressive array of both academic and pastoral experience in their contributors. (I must declare interests as three contributors are current or former colleagues at St Luke’s Centre in Manchester and others are APSCC members.) Topics covered range from sexual development in childhood to sexuality and ageing, sex and the internet, sexual abuse – including having both victims and perpetrators in parish – homosexuality, gender identity, sex in ministerial relationships and many more. Overall the quality of the different sections is very high, the contributions informative, the tone balanced and open; there will be few readers, even those professionally engaged in this area, who do not learn something and find themselves see new perspectives or having old assumptions challenged. Once or twice (for example the section on perversion and fetishes) the sheer amount of material to be covered means the text ends up more like a list then a thorough discussion. However the book is already well over 400 pages and more detail would have pushed both the length – and the cost – beyond reach of the desired audience. Those wishing to know more referred to appropriate source, both internet and print based. Inevitably in multi-author book there is variety of writing quality. For me the clearest writing of all comes from Alison Moore, writing on sexual concerns in marriage. This book is also an ecumenical project and those wanting to know only what their particular tradition has to say may well find it uncomfortable but hopefully fruitful! Kevin Kelly, the veteran Catholic moral theologian who always operated from ‘a parish base’ rather than an academic setting, describes, in his chapter on ‘cohabitation: living in sin or occasion of grace?’ his task as ‘trying to make faithful sense of experience and experience-sense of faith’ (citing Jack Mahoney). That dialogue of – often rapidly changing – experience and faith is central to whole book. It will be a terrific resource for engaged in Christian ministry, in counselling in a pastoral context and for those wishing to understand Christian clients bringing sexual issues, whatever their own spiritual position. The editors and contributors have performed a great service. (Posted on 07/04/2011)
Careful and Compassionate Collection Review by Father Dennis Tindall - Northern Cross News
Star Rating
Do we live in an increasingly sexualised society? Has the Church excelled itself in talking helpfully about sexuality?
From birth to death we are sexual people. A healthy appreciation of what that means and involves may well depend on who you have met and what you have read along the way. This book is a careful and compassionate collection of very readable insights from leading specialists from around the world.
It’s also a brave book about the sensitive pastoral issues. We are given privileged treatment and advice on a complex and developing understanding of what it is to be human, spiritual and sexual.
Chapters range across sexual development in childhood and adolescence, sexuality in adulthood, contemporary issues in human sexuality and theoretical and theological perspectives. It dispels some old myths. For priests, leaders and those in helping professions this is an important and timely book which informs and guides on some fifteen issues affecting the Church – that’s us.
I found this book to be a breath of fresh air; Valuable, informative, and a readable resource. The only drawback is the price. But many spend more on less. Buy it. You’re worth it.
(Posted on 04/04/2011)
"I recommend it highly" Review by Sean D. Sammon, FMS, PhD - Scholar in Residence, Marist College
Star Rating
Excerpt from full review...

Joanne Marie Greer and Brendan Geary have brought together in this well-edited volume the essays of fourteen specialists writing about the topic of human sexuality. With what result? A wise and compassionate treatment of a subject that continues to be the cause of interest and controversy in many Christian communions.

... deal in a very practical way with aspects of sexuality that have come to the fore in recent years...

Readers cannot help but reflect upon their own beliefs as they make their way through interesting and well informed explanations offered about classical as well as more recent thinking about the topic.

Greer and Geary have done us an enormous favour in organising and publishing this book... Any believer with an interest in the topic could not but come away enriched after spending time with one or other of the chapters... I recommend it highly. (Posted on 09/02/2011)

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