Readings in Singleness and Celibacy

posted in: Being Human, Identity, LGBT | 0


I thought it would be worth sharing some thoughts and recommendations on what is out there. As a married young man, I don’t have the life experience to engage fully in this issue, but I want to empower other people to think about. I should note, I don’t fully endorse every opinion expressed in the posts I link to offsite, but I do think they add something interesting to the conversation. Often linked to the Christian understanding of singleness is the call to celibacy, and so I include a few links to that issue.

On my own blog, I’d recommend a few things. Firstly a Guest Post, ‘Changing Orientation‘, in which a friend writes powerfully of what identity and orientation mean when we see everything through the lens of Christ. Secondly is a book review, of Wesley Hill’s “Washed and Waiting”, which is a personal and powerful memoir on living as a celibate, single, homosexual Christian. Well worth reading.

From the New York Times (not a bastion of religious toleration) comes a fascinating piece that really delves into the issue of celibacy, “Is Celibacy a Sin? The NYT has a view“. Its lengthy and Catholic-focused but very, very interesting.

Coming from a different angle, from one of my favourite bloggers, is Cranmer’s “It is not good for Priests to be alone“, which takes a firm look at the idea of priestly celibacy, from an Anglican perspective. This is an interesting piece looking specifically at one angle, but there are some solid points made here.

From the UK’s True Freedom Trust, here is a superb set of articles/posts on ‘Singleness: A New Approach‘. The link takes you to the first one, where you can click through as you read.

Finally, I’ll link to a post from 2011 over at Vicky Beeching’s blog. I don’t always agree with what Beeching writes, but she is always thought provoking. Her post on singleness is excellent, and provides good food for thought for singles, couples, and communities alike. I close with her interpretation of Paul’s challenge;

What ever happened to Paul’s idea that actually singleness is a beautiful and aspirational option, just as marriage is?

I’m sure you readers will have or know resources, books, sermons, articles and so on that contribute to this discussion. Thus far, I’ve only read chapters on singleness in books on marriage – I’d love to be pointed to books etc specifically on the issue of singleness. Your contributions and comments are very welcome!


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