The book Sacrament of Sexuality by Morton Kelsey and Barbara Kelsey (Amity House: $9.95) takes a remarkable look at "love and sex and their relationship to the religious way." Morton Kelsey is an Episcopal priest with a Jungian bent; Barbara, his wife of more than 40 years, is a non-clerical counselor; both are "committed Christians" who approach the subject of sexuality with sturdy moral values ("Our sexuality needs to be ordered by love") but also with scholarship, insight and understanding. And they are blessed with authentic compassion for the sometimes anguished yearnings, both spiritual and sexual, of the human body and soul.
"Calling sexuality a sacrament may seem strange or even blasphemous to those brought up with the idea that sex is an unmentionable or even an evil necessity," they explain. "We suggest that sexuality is at its best an outer, visible, physiological sign of the inner and spiritual grace of love. Not all sexual behavior meets this definition, but, when it does, then our sexuality becomes a living symbol or sacrament of love . . . a window into the nature of the self-giving love of God, a spiritual experience, a communion with love or God."
"Sacrament of Sexuality" is a rich and expansive treatment of sexuality as it has been understood throughout the ages in culture, law, science, philosophy, psychology and religion; the Kelseys are equally at ease in discussing Jesus and Jung, St. Augustine and Freud, the church fathers and Masters and Johnson. Indeed, their definition of sexuality does not exclude such topics as celibacy, homosexuality or feminism. And, although "Sacrament of Sexuality" is an explicitly Christian book ("(T)he highest function of human beings is to experience the victorious love of the risen Jesus"), it is an ecumenical, all-embracing and redeeming work that offers much wisdom, much inspiration and much love to readers of all faiths.