About the Book
There is not, and never was, a monolithic masculinity; there are, and always have been, multiple masculinities. Today diversity with regard to gender and sexuality is beginning to be recognized and celebrated even while many religious denominations still resist these cultural changes. This book offers pastoral interpretations of these social shifts in light of psychological principles, applying them to topics such as the moral disapproval of masturbation; the efforts of some churches to convince homosexual men to adopt a heterosexual orientation; the dynamics of male envy of female longevity; the homosexual tendencies of King James of England and Scotland; and biblical portraits of God's body, gender, and sexuality. The authors make a special use of the psychoanalytic concept of sublimation--that is, the redirection of sexual desires that are considered unacceptable or unworthy toward interests and aspirations that are considered acceptable and worthy. While the use of psychoanalytic hermeneutics here is likely to raise various red flags for potential religious readers (especially for those who have been informed that Sigmund Freud was hostile toward religion), this book presents a rather different Freud by focusing on religious sublimation. ""Wise and interesting pastoral psychologists, Carlin and Capps provide a compelling, must-read study. They demonstrate how psychoanalytic perspectives on sublimation, masculinity, and religion may converge to produce fresh and considered understandings of gender, sexuality, and religious life. Their insights prove playful, liberating, and ultimately hopeful, especially for men and boys, and for those who love them."" --Allan Hugh Cole Jr., Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, School of Social Work, The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX ""In this book, Capps and Carlin offer a fresh perspective on masculinities using psychoanalysis, gender, and biblical studies to show how our understanding of gender is culturally shaped and has changed over time. For those embroiled in debates on sexuality in the mainline denominations, their historical approach offers new insight. This turns out to be important: our vision of God and of ourselves is at stake. This innovative approach is worth a read."" --Phil Helsel, Assistant Professor, Pastoral Care and Counseling, Boston College School of Theology & Ministry, Brighton, MA ""This is an intriguing, important, and timely book on multiple masculinities depicted through the prism of the concept of sublimation. Carlin and Capps, using biblical and contemporary examples, invite the reader toward a more complex, flexible, and deeper understanding of the varied ways men sublimate their erotic desires with other men and women. Indeed, the book itself is an illustration of the sublimation of sexual instincts, revealed in the shared serious and playful scholarship and friendship of these authors."" --Ryan LaMothe, Professor of Pastoral Care and Counseling, St. Meinrad School of Theology, St. Meinrad, IN ""Nathan Carlin and Donald Capps provide a much-needed, nuanced approach to Freud's notion of sublimation and to current public debates on masculinity, especially as it relates to homophobia. They illuminate the dangers that American gender norms pose to men's wellbeing, refusing to entrap masculinity within the boundaries of social convention. With erudition, humor, and the support of biblical stories, including God's damaging gender confusion, they effectively argue for a pastoral approach that includes multiple masculinities."" --Andrea R. Jain, Assistant Professor of Religious Studies, Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis, IN Nathan Carlin is Associate Professor in the McGovern Center for Humanities and Ethics at the University of Texas Medical School. He is the author or coauthor of three previous books, including Religious Mourning (Wipf & Stock, 2014). Donald Capps is Professor of Pastoral Psychology (Emeritus) and Adjunct P
About the Author: Nathan Carlin is Associate Professor in the McGovern Center for Humanities and Ethics at the University of Texas Medical School. He is the author or coauthor of three previous books, including Religious Mourning (Wipf & Stock, 2014). Donald Capps is Professor of Pastoral Psychology (Emeritus) and Adjunct Professor at Princeton Theological Seminary. He is the author of many books, including Reframing (1990); Agents of Hope (1995; Wipf & Stock, 2001); Men, Religion, and Melancholia (1997); and At Home in the World (Cascade Books, 2013).