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Dirt Greed & Sex [Paperback]

By L. William Countryman (Author)
Our Price $ 20.40  
Retail Value $ 24.00  
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Item Number 145890  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   304
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.98" Width: 6.08" Height: 0.83"
Weight:   1.08 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jan 1, 1988
Publisher   Augsburg Fortress Publishers
ISBN  0800624769  
EAN  9780800624767  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
L. William Countryman examines the ethics of sex in the New Testament and explains the implications of those ethics for today. Countryman believes that there are two elements to the New Testament writers' sexual ethics. The first is a property ethic and the second is a purity ethic. Countryman's findings lead him to conclusions that challenge more traditional and conservative views on what the Bible says about sex. Still, readers from all backgrounds may benefit from much of Countryman's scholarship, though they may not agree with his conclusions. L. William Countryman is Professor of New Testament at the Church Divinity School of the Pacific, Berkeley, California.

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More About L. William Countryman

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! L. William Countryman is Sherman E. Johnson Professor in Biblical Studies at the Church Divinity School of the Pacific in Berkeley, California. He is a popular speaker, and the author of many books including Gifted by Otherness, Living on the Border of the Holy, Forgiven and Forgiving, and Love Human and Divine, all available from Morehouse Publishing.

Louis William Countryman was born in 1941.

Louis William Countryman has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Traditions of Christian Spirituality

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Product Categories
1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Commentaries > New Testament   [2831  similar products]
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Concordances   [1693  similar products]
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Topical   [1733  similar products]

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Take the Red Pill, not the Blue Pill!  Apr 14, 2006
Countryman presents the myriad and too-oft confusing biblical purity laws and renders them comprehensible. You've always wondered WHY wearing cloth of mixed thread is "unclean," why you could't be a priest in Old Testament times if you have one arm shorter than the other (or a crushed testical) etc., and why animals not-of-cloven-hoof are also considered unclean. Why are lepers unclean until the leprosy gets so bad that all the skin has completely depigmented (even though the ailment is still quite present)? What is the link between all these purity laws? How did the ancient mind think about what is considered pure vs. impure and why? How did this affect the New Testement writers?

Countryman explains the various theories and how they never seem to integrate all these laws in a larger context, and illustrates why we're prone to pick and choose, buffet style, the laws that happen to make sense to us today if translated to English (and how this is absolute folley without comprehending from whence and wherefore they came).

Yes, people are the same the world over, BUT the ancient mindset was truly a different animal in their paradigms for reality, and their mindset of "how life operates" concerning property, relationships, and consequently sexual ethics that obviously inform the New Testament authors.

Read at your own peril; you will be educated and informed in a non-overbearing fashion. Countryman lays all his cards on the table right away, revealing his purposes and academic predispositions ahead of time. This is responsible and open scholarship at its best!
WOW!  Nov 14, 2001
If nothing else, I will always be greatful to Countryman for making the Judaic purity laws make sense AS A WHOLE. I could always find explanations/rationalizations for an individual law, but the system seemed so arbitrary. Countryman -- almost in passing -- makes it all make sense.

That aside, his scholarship and theology are excellent. He looks at Mosaic law in context, and at the New Testemant teachings on it. He goes into depth, often taking us back to original texts and holding our hand through the tribulations of translation. He never makes a statement withoug showing you why (and citing his sources). I can't stress enough: Whether or not you're Christian, Read This Book!

A Comprehensive Approach to Understanding Sex in the Bible  Jun 22, 2000
While no book is going to be the final word on what the Bible means and how to apply it to one's life, this book provides insight into the cultural mindset of the authors of both the Jewish and Christian scriptures and helps one get behind archane regulations and statements to what their intended purpose actually was. Note: although homosexuality is a hot button topic in today's society, the book is not primarily on that subject. It is a good resource on the overall subject of sex and the relationships which revolve around it. Additionally, the primary thesis opens up the understanding of how God's Law regulated purity and ownership issues and thus can open up one's understanding of the Bible in other areas beyond the subject of sex.
A Must-Read  Jun 2, 2000
If you are a Christian wanting to develop a whole-orbed sexology, or understand "what the Bible REALLY says about sexuality", Countryman is definitely the author for you. Always challenging, yet never overbearing, Countryman deals with the Biblical text as it is. He does not wander into the quagmires of liberalism and declare that the Bible is archaic and we needn't bother trying to understand what it says. Equally importantly, he does not blindly declare, "THIS is what the Bible says to us today", as if we ourselves lived in Biblical times without the intervening two millennia of Church history. He stakes out a middle path between contextualizing the Scriptures in their own times and emphasizing their relevance and authority for today's Church WHEN RIGHTLY UNDERSTOOD IN THEIR ORIGINAL CONTEXT. Anyone seriously interested in a reverent, careful, intelligent study of the sexology of purity and property in the Christian Scriptures will surely come away challenged and refreshed by Countryman's rigorous close readings and contextualizations of the Biblical text. After reading this study, you should also read John Boswell's "Same-Sex Unions in PreModern Europe" as a further testimonial of the Church's legitimation and sanctification of homosexual unions (marriages). This historical study only further bears witness to the fundamental correctness of Countryman's exegesis of the New Testament text.
Thoughtful and Provocative  Feb 21, 2000
This book deflates the claims by blowhard fundamentalists by looking at the Greek words used in Christian scriptures to dissociate modern fundamentalist mores from the concepts of the original authors (whomever they may be). A piercing and informed look at the nature of cleanliness (the argument against homosexuality is often because it's unclean, but you don't see Christians following the cleanliness laws of the Torah, do you?), possession/greed (faithfulness to one's partner or partners), and their relationship to sexuality and sexual ethics. I cannot recommend a better book for those who are on the edge of leaving christianity because of its repressive sexuality -- yet can't believe that it is SUPPOSED to be that way.

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