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Title page for ETD etd-03222014-191454

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Davis, Carolyn Jane
URN etd-03222014-191454
Title Aflame With Passion: Towards a Theology of Adolescent Sexuality
Degree PhD
Department Religion
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Ellen T. Armour Committee Chair
Bonnie Miller-McLemore Committee Member
Bruce T. Morrill Committee Member
M. Douglas Meeks Committee Member
Mark D. Jordan Committee Member
  • theology
  • feminist theology
  • adolescence
  • sexuality
  • sexuality education
  • Christianity
Date of Defense 2014-03-11
Availability unrestricted
This dissertation explores the influence of theological, political, medical, and market discourses upon contemporary American Protestant adolescent sexuality education curricula. The project offers a genealogy of Christian sexual rhetoric that highlights the role of sexual control and discipline in the interest of social stability. I contend that Protestant sexuality education curricula tend to use theological language as an ideological cipher, often serving as an endorsement for the vocation of married, middle-class American life advanced through political and market discourse. Adolescent sexual desire is often presented as risky mainly for its potential to destabilize this idealized future. Such paradigms fail to provide young people, and especially LGBTQ youth, with resources to make productive meaning of their sexualities in light of religious commitments and practices. In search of theological foundations more attentive to the diverse lived experiences of young people, I offer a constructive response grounded in feminist retrievals of eros and Christian pneumatology. Chiefly, I propose that faith-based sexuality education is best grounded within broader reflections on desire, justice, and care for the vulnerable.
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