Sex in Christianity and Psychoanalysis Author:William Graham Cole Now when the accepted standards of society are being questioned, this book makes an important contribution to the re-thinking of our sexual morality. It surveys the interpretations of sex by the major figures in Christian thought and in psychoanalysis. The author refutes the common belief that the negative attitude toward sex and the body, which... more » has been predominant in western civilization, originated with Christianity. He shows that such a viewpoint was widespread in the early Hellenistic Age, nearly three centuries before Christ. He emphasizes the essentially positive view of sex which Biblical religion demands and shows how Christianity's attitude toward sex early became corrupted by the dualism of the Orient. He points to the need for a return to essential naturalism and the Biblical interpretation of sex.
The book begins with Jesus and Paul and moves to Augustine, as the link between the ancient and medieval worlds. The author analyzes the classical Catholic and Protestant ideas through Thomas Aquinas and the Council of Trent, Martin Luther and John Calvin, and then surveys contemporary attitudes in both Catholic and Protestant circles. He shows how a Christian understanding of sex comes into significant contact and conflict with psychoanalysis. The psychoanalytic interpretations of sex in the writings of Sigmund Freud and in the work of contemporary analysts are discussed, as well as the major problems in sexual mores. The author ends with a synthesis of the religious and psychoanalytic points of view and a critical reconstruction of a Christian interpretation of sex.« less