Shameless: A Sexual Reformation

Book, 2019, 200 pp
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Raw, intimate, and timely, Nadia Bolz-Weber's latest book offers a full-blown overhaul of our harmful and antiquated ideas about sex, gender, and our bodies.

Christians are obsessed with sex. But not in a good way. For generations countless people have suffered pain, guilt, and judgment as a result of this toxic fixation on sex, the body, and physical pleasure. In the follow-up to Accidental Saints, Bolz-Weber unleashes her critical eye, her sharp pen, and her vulnerable but hopeful soul on the caustic, fear-riddled, and religiously inspired messages about sex that have fed our shame.

In turn, Bolz-Weber offers no simple amendments or polite compromises, because the stakes are too high--and our souls and our bodies are worth too much. Instead, this tattooed, swearing, modern-day pastor calls for a new reformation. She urges us to take antiquated, sexist ideas about sex, gender, and our bodies and "burn them the f*ck down and start all over."

This is a journey of holy resistance. Along the way, as antidotes to shame, heresy, and all-too-familiar injustice, Bolz-Weber dispenses grace, freedom, and courage. She shares stories, poetry, and scripture, cultivating resilient hope and audacious love rooted in good news that is "powerful enough, transgressive enough, and beautiful enough to heal not only the ones who have been hurt but also those who have done the hurting."

In Bolz-Weber's most personal, bracingly honest book yet, she shares intimately about her life, with her trademark blend of vulnerability, humour, and candour. If you've been mistreated, confused, angered, and/or wounded by the shaming sexual messages so prevalent in religion, this one is for you.

Also see related interview on NPR.

“Shameless is one of the most important, life-changing books I’ve ever read. Expertly-crafted and lovingly delivered, it serves as both a bomb and a balm—blowing up the lies religion teaches about sex and tenderly healing the wounds those messages have inflicted. Pastoral and prophetic, Shameless weaves together history, theology, biblical studies, personal narrative, and sex ed, without ever losing sight of its most important aim—honoring the dignity of actual human beings living actual, messy and beautiful lives. It’s Nadia Bolz-Weber’s best book yet. And that’s saying something.” —Rachel Held Evans, author of Searching for Sunday and Inspired

“If the conversation around sex in the Church has felt like a small, cramped room to you, brace yourself: Nadia Bolz-Weber is about to kick in the door, hustle you outside, and burn down the room as you march out into the fresh air. This irreverent, bold, and authentic book is deeply centered in love and the transforming goodness of God. If ever there was a time for the Church to disrupt the world’s broken notions around sex, gender, masculinity, and power with this sort of a shameless reformation, it is now. And Nadia is the loving, hopeful, wise, take-no-prisoners disruptor we’ve been waiting for.” —Sarah Bessey, author of Jesus Feminist and Out of Sorts

“Nadia has an amazingly faith-filled way to say good things in a hard way and hard things in a good way. She does it again with one of our most wounding, dangerous, and needed subjects—Christian gender and sexual teaching! This will heal many.” —Fr. Richard Rohr, O.F.M., Center for Action and Contemplation, author of Falling Upward

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