Thursday, March 10, 2011

Jennifer Knust: Unprotected Texts--Interview with Terry Gross

Transcripts of the conversation between Terry Gross and Jennifer Knust will be available after 5pm today here or here. On the NPR link is an excerpt from Unprotected Texts: The Bible's Surprising Contradictions about Sex and Desire (HarperOne, 2011). From the website:

Knust's book suggests that the Bible shouldn't be used as a guidebook for marriage or sexuality because passages related to sex — on topics related to monogamy, polygamy, sexual practices, homosexuality and gender roles — are more complex and nuanced than popular culture has led us to believe.
"The Bible offers no viable solution to our marriage dilemmas," she says. "There is no such thing as a single, biblically based view of legitimate marriage."
Jennifer Wright Knust is an ordained Baptist pastor and an assistant professor at Boston University. The book's first chapter discusses the Bible and the joy of sex. Polygamous marriage is normative in Hebrew Scriptures but not so much in the New Testament. Paul's injunctions not to marry in I Corinthians 7 are discussed in chapter three: The Evil Impulse: Disordered and Ordered Desire. 

Given that the book's argument is that the Bible cannot be appropriated without recognising its cultural and social norms, Jennifer Knust invites deeper and more critical reflection on the Bible. 

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