The Armchair Theologian

Does Christianity Hate Pleasure?

“Christianity gave Eros poison to drink; he did not die of it, certainly, but degenerated to vice.” Frederick Nietzsche

Germaine Greer, 28 October 2013 (cropped).jpgIt has become a fashionable truism in the modern world that Christianity is a pleasure-hating religion. Individual Christians are hopelessly enmeshed, so the Freudian logic goes, in a web of self-denial which denigrates comfort, the body , and human sexuality. Post-Christian Feminists have been the strongest advocates of this view. Highlighting Paul’s claim that ‘it is better to marry than to burn’ [1 Corinthians 7:9] and his dualistic assertion that the ‘desires of the flesh are against the Spirit’ [Galatians 5:17], thinkers like Mary Daly and Germaine Greer have come to the conclusion that Christianity has done the cause of pleasure more harm than good.  Are they right?  It is certainly true that Christianity has possessed its fair share of repression-junkies, hair-shirt prudes, and sexual neurotics- although…

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