What does sex have to do with salvation? How is the afterlife related to all the different ways that Christians and Muslims understand marriage and dating, clothing and bodies, and procreation or abstinence? This course examines two religious traditions and their histories, ideas, and theories about sex, gender, identity and their relationship to God. We will look at the religions’ attempts to dictate a wide variety of sexual norms, at the creativity followers have employed in interpreting and following such regulations, and at the ways Muslims and Christians have used sexual practices, language, and images in their devotion. We will read mystical texts, discuss sexual ethics and identity, and examining case studies on themes such as same-sex relationships, contraceptives, modes of dress, and embodiment in the afterlife. Sexuality and salvation are such entangled ideas that when one wants to look at the divine, one must look to the actions of the human body.


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