The End of Sexual Identity: Why Sex Is Too Important to Define Who We Are

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by Jenell Williams Paris

Sexual identity has become an idol in both the culture at large and in the Christian subculture. And yet concepts like "gay" or "straight" are relatively recent developments in human history. We let ourselves be defined by socially constructed notions of sexual identity and sexual orientationÑeven though these may not be the only or best ways to think about sexuality.

Anthropologist Jenell Williams Paris offers a Christian framework for sexual holiness that accounts for complex postmodern realities. She assesses problems with popular cultural and Christian understandings of heterosexuality and homosexuality alike. The End of Sexual Identity moves beyond culture-war impasses to open up new space for conversations in diverse communities both inside and outside the church.