Freshman Voltaire's Coffee: Professor Friesen presents Unprotected Texts: The Bible's Surprising Contradictions about Sex and Desire by Jennifer Wright Knust
Wed, September 7, 2011 • 7:00 PM
Steve Friesen, Unprotected Texts: The Bible's Surprising Contradictions about Sex and Desire by Jennifer Wright Knust; September 7th
Knust argues that the Biblical books do not contain one simple message about the meaning and limits of sexual desire. Rather, the Bible contains many different messages, whether the topic is marriage, family, prostitution, incest, circumcision, menstruation, or celibacy. According to Knust, if you want to take the Bible seriously, you can't treat it like a book of rules that give you a simple way of dealing with desire. Humans interpret the Bible's many perspectives as they try to construct what it means to be part of a human community, what it means to have a body, and what it means to be in love with God.
Has this to say about himself: I survived childhood in California’s cityscapes (Bakersfield, Lodi) with enough curiosity still intact to spend the rest of my life in academic pursuits. But it was a long and winding road that brought me to UT: a B.A. from Fresno Pacific College (1976; now “Fresno Pacific University”); an M.Div. from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena (1979); a three-year study service assignment in Bucharest, Romania, with Mennonite Central Committee (1980-83); a Ph.D. in the Study of Religion from Harvard University (1990); a post-doctoral fellowship at the East-West Center in Honolulu (1990-93); 12 years at Big XII rival Mizzou; and various menial jobs too sordid to recount. My research interests revolve around early Christianity and other religions of the era, and around religious studies in general. The themes to which I seem to return in my work relate to the social locations and functions of religion. My main publishing topics have been the Book of Revelation and apocalyptic literature; and inequality in the earliest churches and in the Roman Empire.