Fortress Press

Desirable Belief: A Theology of Eros

Desirable Belief

A Theology of Eros

Margaret D. Kamitsuka (Author)


Available September 10, 2024

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Desirable Belief: A Theology of Eros is a work of critical and constructive theology informed by the phenomenon of erotic love. Within the Christian tradition, passion has long been associated with sinful lust, incurring shaming and accusations of narcissism. Contemporary theologies of eros, on the other hand, extol sexual desire as God-given, even sacred. This book eschews these two extremes through an examination of the complexities of love and desire, as narrated in biblical texts, allegorized by church fathers, manifested in the lives of mystics, analyzed in psychodynamic theory, and depicted in poetry, literature, and Christian art. The volume pairs writers on love as different as Augustine and Jane Austen or Angela of Foligno and Simone de Beauvoir. Desirable Belief argues that eros is human and, as such, informs the Chalcedonian claim of Christ as fully God and fully human. A christological perspective that takes eros into account, in turn, affects the doctrine of the bodily ascension of Christ, the nature of resurrected bodies in heaven, and whether trinitarian impassibility is still a coherent concept.

  • Publisher Fortress Press
  • Format Hardcover
  • ISBN 9798889831792
  • eBook ISBN 9798889831808
  • Dimensions 5.75 x 8.75
  • Pages 242
  • Publication Date September 10, 2024


Drawing on the deep wisdom of years of teaching and research, Kamitsuka invites readers into a beautifully crafted deep dive into eros as what connects us to one another and to the divine. Equal parts poetic and literary, biblical and theological, historical and contemporary, conceptual and lyrical, Desirable Belief offers a vital healing balm to all of us.

Ellen T. Armour, Vanderbilt University

In this timely and exquisitely written book, Kamitsuka has written the theology for which I have been longing. A deep and powerful meditation on the significance of the Song of Songs for contemporary theology and faith, Kamitsuka skillfully interweaves this erotic text with both doctrine and fiction. Song of Songs once held a place of centrality in the Christian spiritual tradition. In this work, Kamitsuka reminds us why and offers us fresh language to reclaim the Christian faith as full of embodied desire. At once groundbreaking and yet entirely in keeping with the goods of the Christian tradition, here eros takes center stage, not as simply metaphor but as sensuous, embodied desire at the heart of what it means to be human. This is a simply superb work of theology.

Karen O'Donnell, Cambridge University

This book does for eros what no other book has done. An original treatment of the Song of Songs, mystical love, self-love, love after death, and much else, this is a work of striking honesty, realism, humanity, and faith.

Adrian Thatcher, University of Exeter