See Me Naked by Amy Frykholm
Stories of Sexual Exile in American Christianity

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“A fascinating, troubling, and finally heartening book that subtly shows ways that Christians might reconcile their bodies with their devotion to God. Highly recommended for individual Christians but also for pastors and church groups.”—Library Journal, starred review

Stories of sexual scandals in churches throughout the nation have been downright routine in recent years, suggesting to many Americans that a deeply rooted problem plagues American Christianity—and prompting some to abandon their congregations altogether. In See Me Naked, Amy Frykholm takes us beyond simple indictments of, or blind allegiance to, Christian cultures to explore the complex, intimate intersection of sexuality and spirituality as it affects the lives of ordinary Christians.
Recounting with care and nuance the life histories of nine American Protestants, Frykholm shows us the harm done by the rules-based sexual ethic now dominant, which alternately denies and romanticizes sexuality. But she also points to how American Christians might otherwise access their spiritual tradition to heal the divide between religion and sexuality. One story examines the intricate relationship between a man’s religious faith and his sexual addiction. In another, a man defines religion as a wall that kept him from the discovery that he was gay. One young woman uses sex to defy her devout parents, while another seeks to transcend her body by going without food. Nearly everyone interviewed in See Me Naked remains a Christian, with some further on their journey than others. Yet each of them is working to understand the connection between their desires and their faith. Ultimately, their stories—stories of pain and violence, perseverance and courage—attest to the healing power of struggling through the wild and uncertain experiences of life.
See Me Naked explores the many ways that people work to recover from harmful beliefs and restores the notion that one of the key insights of Christianity is that the body, with all its struggles, pains, and difficulties, is a vehicle of the holy and can lead us into a more full relationship with God.

From the Hardcover edition.

About Amy Frykholm

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Amy Frykholm is author of Rapture Culture: Left Behind in Evangelical America and Julian of Norwich: A Contemplative Biography. She works as a correspondent for the Christian Century and lives in Colorado.
Published November 1, 2011 by Beacon Press. 201 pages
Genres: Health, Fitness & Dieting, Religion & Spirituality, Parenting & Relationships. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Using keen insight and a host of memorable voices, Frykholm successfully relates her desire to utilize “our stories, our bodies, our sexualities, our minds, and our souls to love one another better.” A culturally significant collection that explores the challenges of reconciling pleasure with p...

Oct 15 2011 | Read Full Review of See Me Naked: Stories of Sexu...

Publishers Weekly

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Frykholm (Rapture Culture), a special correspondent for the Christian Century, presents briefly the stories of nine individuals who have experienced deep disconnection in their attempts to reconcile their sexual and Christian selves.

Sep 12 2011 | Read Full Review of See Me Naked: Stories of Sexu...


I know of churches along the entire spectrum of teachings about premarital sex, from the strictest no sex of any form before marriage, and marriage is to be permanent and ever-lasting, to churches that fully support teens who choose to become sexually active before marriage.

Mar 01 2013 | Read Full Review of See Me Naked: Stories of Sexu...

Spirituality & Practice

• Becca, a victim of sexual abuse who has now is helping other women who have been sexually abused.

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EDGE Boston

to acknowledge that we have both individually and collectively been damaged by the church over the topic of sex, and that there is a possibility of reconciliation at least with God not in spite of having a sexual life but actually using the sexual part of our lives to reconcile to God, was overwh...

Nov 15 2011 | Read Full Review of See Me Naked: Stories of Sexu...

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