PS4258 Sex and Sensibility
Mondays, 7:10 pm - 10:00 pm
PLTS Giesy Hall #1
Theological and psycho-social exploration of human sexuality
as intrinsic to the divine-human connection and as one of the great arenas
for celebrating the Source of Life, with implications for our understandings
of major teachings about God, human nature, sin, salvation, history, and
eschatology. While sex is commonly affirmed as God's good creation, many
religious people still learn to fear, despise, trivialize, and be ashamed
of their bodies and their sexual functions. This course will address the
relationship of sex and religion, biblical and historical development
of Christian views of sex, attitudes toward the body and sexual shame,
alternative sexualities, sexual disorders, dysfunctions, and abuse. Development
of personal sexual credo and strategies to foster wholesome embrace of
sexuality as a core element of human identity. Lectures/discussions/small
groups/movies. Students required to use internet resources and discussion
group accessible online on the World Wide Web. [Faculty permission required
/ Sig. on Reg. Card]
Deeper knowledge and acceptance of self as a sexual
Increased comfort and confidence in listening and responding
to sexual topics.
Appropriation of more healthful sexual perspectives.
Increased integration of your faith with your sexual
Repertory of biblical and liturgical texts, theological
loci, and common beliefs and practices that affect our attitudes toward
Mutual relationships among religious beliefs and practices,
child development and adult relationships, and sexual attitudes and
Basic psychological principles of healthy and positive
sexuality and theological principles that support them.
Awareness of your assumptions and commitments and how
these are likely to impact your care giving and care receiving.
Increased alertness to the implications for healthy
sexuality of biblical and theological precepts.
Capacity either to reframe abusive or damaging precepts
in healthful terms or to eliminate them from your practicing theology.
Capacity to help parishioners and others wounded by
religious beliefs and experiences.
Regular class attendance.
Readiness to use Internet and World Wide Web as integral
class learning media.
Active participation in class activities.
Individual and/or group study of reading assignments.
Satisfactory completion of class assignments:
First day of class completion of page on your background
and experience in pastoral care and counseling and personal expectations
of the class.
Weekly journal - your responses, associations, questions, illustrations, explorations related
to either the previous week's readings and/or previous week's class session
or the coming week's readings and posted either to the online course discussion
forums or as an email to me privately. During the 13-week
semester write at least 10 journals. The journals should be
about 250 words long.
Sexual Autobiography (Due March 28) - Use Zoldbrod, Sex
to assist in reflection on how your sexual consciousness has
been shaped by your life experiences. (For an example, read
"My Sexual Autobiography" accessible by clicking
"Course Documents" and then "Texts.")
Sexual Credo (Due May 2) - a statement of your fundamental
sexual beliefs and values. (For an example, read my "Sexual
Values Paper" accessible by clicking "Course
Documents" and then "Texts.")
Candid and timely consultation with instructor about
any issues or problems that trouble you during the course.
All course discussions, papers, journals,
etc. will remain strictly confidential and will not be shared either specifically
or in general terms with anyone. See my Confidentiality
Learning in this class derives from your engagement with
the readings (assigned and optional), class sessions, written assignments,
other students, instructor, your own reflection alone and with others.
Students who attend class sessions regularly and complete all assignments
will receive an "A". Failure to complete one assignment component reduces
the grade to a "C". Failure to complete two assignment components reduces
the grade to an "F".
Paul R. Abramson & Steven D. Pinkerton, With
Pleasure: Thoughts on the Nature of Human Sexuality. Oxford
University Press, 1995. (paperback $16.15)
Christine E. Gudorf, Body,
Sex, and Pleasure: Reconstructing Christian Sexual Ethics.
Pilgrim Press, 1994. (paperback $12.76) - Text
available on class web site!!
James B. Nelson & Sandra P. Longfellow, eds. Sexuality
and the Sacred: Sources for Theological Reflection. WJK, 1994.
Aline P. Zoldbrod, Sex
How Your Childhood Shaped Your Sexual Life and What To Do About It.
New Harbinger Publications, 1998. (paperback $11.96)
Off-prints - available from instructor.
1 Our Ministry to Sexual Wholeness
2 The Christian Tradition &
3 Loving Our Bodies/Our
||Presidents' Day (No Class)
4 From Procreation to Pleasure
5 Biology and Psychology of
||Spring Recess (No Class)
7 Sexual Diversity
8 Childhood Sexuality
9 Adolescent Sexuality
10 Adult Sexuality
11 Diseases and Dysfunctions
12 Violence and
in Sexual Embodiment