by Mary E. Hunt
Hunt probes friendship as a religious value, one that often receives little attention. While her primary focus is women’s friendships–straight as well as lesbian–the application of the book is broader. She sees generativity as the sine qua non of friendship, showing how it involves a wide range of expressions. She then develops a model of friendship based upon two polarities–of love and power and of embodiment and spirituality–whose tension holds in balance the fierce tenderness of true friendship. This book is noteworthy for its ethical and theological challenges as well as its feminism. Highly recommended for seminary, academic, and large public libraries.
(The Crossroad Publishing Company, 204 pages, $20 plus s+h). This book is currently print-on-demand. Please contact WATER for Order by mail
“In Fierce Tenderness, Mary E. Hunt continues to chart the way from unjust, unequal power relationships to new experiences of mutuality through friendship…. Employing a combination of sources such as literature, case studies, and first-person accounts that easily span the gaps across racial and religious difference, gender preference and orientation, and geographical loci, this text maps new socio-ethical and theological interpretations for friendship. Hunt [contends] that when women choose to live in right relationship, new and compelling paradigms of the holy emerge, connoting co-responsibility, mutual influence, and commitment on both sides of the divine-human equation.” -Susan Brooks Thistlewaite and Toinette M. Eugene, Chicago Theological Seminary
“In theory as well as in practice, Hunt’s work begs to be taken seriously and to be taken further…. To look to it [merely] for one additional chapter-friendship as a new theme-to add to a course in systematic theology, will lead to disappointment. The book is far too radical and too important for that. It risks changing the grammar of the enterprise, and it may well give rise to speech that is brand new.” -Sharon H. Ringe, Wesley Theological Seminary
“A mature and cautious celebration of the sustaining and transforming power of friendship, and good friends everywhere may be enlightened and empowered by it. What could be more useful?” -Betty A. DeBerg, The Christian Century
“Mary Hunt has given us a new perspective, and new tools with which to build our ethics of relationships. Her work ought to be the harbinger of exciting new theological thinking on sexuality, unprecedented in its utilization of the life experiences of all people on an equal footing.” -Institute for the Study of Christianity and Sexuality Bulletin
Mary E. Hunt is cofounder and codirector of the Women’s Alliance for Theology, Ethics, and Ritual (water) in Silver Spring, Maryland, and coeditor, with Patricia Beattie Jung and Radhika Balakrishnan, of Good Sex: Feminist Perspectives from the World’s Religions (2000).