Religion, Flesh, and Blood

Religion, Flesh, and Blood : The Convergence of HIV/AIDS, Black Sexual Expression, and Therapeutic Religion

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This is a case study of one congregation within the Unity Fellowship Church Movement that relies on therapeutic religion, a form of religion that strives to equip individuals with psychological capital, by enabling self-expressions and affirmations of social differences. The therapeutic ethic that characterizes this congregation has enabled some freedoms that are otherwise disallowed in traditional congregations. These new freedoms inadvertently have led to certain excesses, including overtly sexual language and behaviors. But this is not to say that the congregation disregards conventional norms altogether, or that therapy is used simply as an excuse for self-indulgence. Rather, in spite of the occasional "messiness" that may arise, there is something significant and deep about therapeutic religion. For religious organizations serving traumatized and marginalized populations in particular, therapeutic religion may be pivotal in helping to reintegrate the wounded back into the community more

Product details

  • Hardback | 168 pages
  • 164 x 232 x 18mm | 439.99g
  • Lexington Books
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 0739194429
  • 9780739194423

About Pamela Leong

Pamela Leong is assistant professor of sociology at Salem State more

Review quote

Leong does a great service in bringing the work of Unity Fellowship into view, and this book should open new conversations. Nova Religio: The Journal Of Alternative And Emergent Religions This is a rich case study of how one congregation blends the traditions of African-American Christianity and the contemporary therapeutic ethic of American popular culture to become a GLBT-affirming church. Leong adeptly shows how the rituals, use of sacred texts, and adoption of liberation theology are combined at Unity Fellowship Church to create a haven for one of society's most marginalized populations. -- Stephen Ellingson, Hamilton Collegeshow more

Table of contents

1. The Therapeutic Ethic 2. A Portrait of Unity Fellowship Church 3. Wrestling with Religion and the Rise of Personalized Religion 4. Reconciling Religious Contradictions 5. The Unintended Consequences of Therapeutic Religion 6. Therapeutic Religion and Ambivalence: The Case of Wanda 7. Articulating Limits and Boundaries 8. Lifting Up the Carpet, Opening Doors, and Reintegration 9. Pain, the Truth of Human Feelings, and the Need for Therapeutic Religion Appendix: Methodological Challengesshow more