Issues of gender and sexuality have recently come to the fore in all humanities disciplines, and this book reflects this broad interdisciplinary situation, although its own standpoint is broadly theological. In contrast to many contemporary feminist theologies, gender and sexuality (eros) are here understood within a distinctively Christian context characterized by the reality of agape - the New Testament's term for the comprehensive divine-human love that includes the relationship of man and woman within its scope. The central problem is concern with key Pauline texts relating to gender and sexuality (1 Cor. 11, Rom. 7, Eph. 5), texts whose influence on western theology and culture has been enduring and pervasive. They are read here in conjunction with later theological and non-theological texts that reflect that influence - ranging from Augustine and Barth to Virginia Woolf, Freud and Irigaray.
'This is a highly original project. Francis Watson has succeeded in carving out a very distinctive niche for himself in biblical studies and has established himself as an important voice in contemporary theological and hermeneutical debate.' Stephen Moore, University of Sheffield 'I know of nothing that does what this book sets out to do, nor at the level of sophistication which Francis Watson achieves. The book will be of great interest to biblical interpreters, Christian ethicists, feminist scholars, and hopefully a wider academic audience interested in the interpretation of sexuality in the western tradition.' Stephen Barton, University of Durham '... a magnificent early dividend ... its theological appeal is undeniable. Watson sets a new standard for New Testament theology in our generation.' Expository Times 'Watson's Agape, Eros, Gender probably represents the most pervasively theological interpretation of biblical texts available ... An impressive and invaluable illustration of what theological interpretation might look like.' Philip Esler, Journal of Theological Studies 'It is a stimulating and often challenging read that will appeal especially to all those interested in ideas whether in the fields of ethics, gender studies, psychology or theology.' Theology 'This is an important and absorbing book. Its considerable exegetical sections are refreshing and challenging.' Evangelical Quarterly