Read Eunuchs for the Kingdom of Heaven: Women, Sexuality and the Catholic Church by Uta Ranke-Heinemann Peter Heinegg Online


This international bestseller--condemned by New York's Cardinal O'Connor who, without reading it, likened it to "scrawling dirty words about the church on bathroom walls"--is a definitive, richly documented report on the oppression of women and sexuality in the Catholic Church....

Title : Eunuchs for the Kingdom of Heaven: Women, Sexuality and the Catholic Church
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780140165005
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 368 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Eunuchs for the Kingdom of Heaven: Women, Sexuality and the Catholic Church Reviews

  • Carlos
    2019-05-31 00:44

    If you have ever been curious why the Catholic Church is so strange when it comes to sexuality, this is the book you want to read. Ranke-Heinemann treats the reader to a brilliant discussion of primary texts that include a merciless pinpointing of where translations were tweaked, or altogether changed to benefit a theological perspective. She consequently backs up every assertion made with the original texts which series of translations have mangled. In this way she is able to track down the changes that supported anti-sexual message, from changing Mary’s youth to virginity and changing Paul’s request of priestly wives as priestly sisters. She goes on to give a thorough analysis of Augustine’s anti-pleasure diatribe and recognizes, in him and in other Church fathers, the progression and perpetuation of the Gnostic and Stoic influence that were prevalent in early Christian thought. She continues with brilliant discussions of the beginning and progression of clerical celibacy and of the absurd regulation of the sex lives of married couples, humorously pointing out the absurdities of some of the positions taken with respect to sex. Lastly, her discussion on the impact of all of this for our perception of women and the way in which Mary is so far removed from being a woman as to be a celibate’s concoction was nothing short of amazing. This has been by far the most illuminating book when it comes to understanding the mentality, errors, arrogance and sheer absurdity of the Church’s position on all and every sexual aspects.

  • Marie
    2019-06-01 21:01

    This book has been on our bookshelves for eons, and I finally picked it up and plowed my way through it until I began scanning sections toward the end. It's a densely written tome--obviously very well researched and detailed. I already knew all too well that the Roman Catholic tradition is anti-sex, anti-women, and anti-contraception. Here's what I didn't know:--Augustine (one of the fathers of the Catholic tradition of sex and woman hating) was married and also had several lovers before he became an avowed sex hater. --Our eldest son must have been conceived on a Sunday, because he has epilepsy. (Yes, that's what can happen if you have sex at the wrong time.)--Not only are Sundays forbidden for sex, but also when a woman is menstruating, during Lent, 20 days before Christmas, yada, yada, yada.--The only time it's not a sin to have sex is to procreate (already knew that) or when one's partner demands it.--Until modern times, not only were women not supposed to approach the altar, but they were also not supposed to even sing in the choir.This is what I did know:"All in all, considering the repression, defamation, and demonization of women, the whole of church history adds up to one long arbitrary, narrow-minded masculine depotism over the female sex. And this despotism continues today, uninterrupted...The male church has never understood that the reality of the church is based on the shared humanity of man and woman."Throughout the book, Ranke-Heinemann gives us a dense history of the Catholic church and its hatred for wome and sexuality. I find it mind-boggling to ponder why the Catholic church is so completely obsessed with sex and how evil it is. And how much of this attitude remains to this day. This book certainly did not give me any more fondness for the Catholic church!I initially gave this 2 stars, but after reading that New York's Cardinal O'Connor who, without reading it, likened it to "scrawling dirty words about the church on bathroom walls," I've upgraded it to 3 stars! This is a necessary piece of work--although it needs to be updated and the writing made a bit more readable.

  • Jason
    2019-06-16 17:58

    All at once a history, study, philosophy and reaction, this book coherently covers a lot of ground on a very touchy subject. Ranke-Heineman goes back to the early church and the teachings of the bible, arguing how the early church which was incredibly liberal for its time (yet moreso as church doctrine evolved) started changing even back then into what was to become the catholic church's belief on women and sexuality. She studies the strong influence of gnosticism and later scholers like Thomas Aquinas in developing church doctrine from what was largely a 'don't-ask-don't-tell' practice of sex and the unspecified role of women into the rigid and invasive practice we are more familiar with. This is a well-researched and written attack on church doctrine, and also a plea for change. The material is very dense but with enough background throughout to keep the average reader, like me, on top of the argument. Highly recommended.

  • Tucker
    2019-06-18 01:08

    Overall this was a good book that complains about how the Catholic Church has portrayed sexuality and treated people with regard to their sexual being, especially women, and makes a convincing feminist case for a different theology.The book doesn't give airtime to the dominant Catholic view--which I can understand, since that viewpoint has been privileged enough to be heard already, and the author needs time to make her own argument--but, as someone who's not very familiar with traditional Catholic arguments, I would have to go find additional books if I wanted a fuller understanding of what the debate was about. This leaves me wondering what might have been missing.There was one minor flaw toward the end. It was a brief digression claiming that, during wartime, people tend to renounce contraception because they see the need to make more babies who will grow up to be soldiers. It was substantiated with only one example. This doesn't ring true; people are under all kinds of stresses during war and might not think it's the best time to start a family, on top of which it would be the better part of two decades before they got an extra soldier out of the deal. Even if government propaganda asks people to make more soldiers, probably the government's real agenda is to convince people to behave as if everything is normal. In any case, that is not what the book is about, but I felt that it's an example of a claim that wasn't made carefully, and it helps me to see why some Catholics stiffen at the name of Uta Ranke-Heinemann or feel that her books are mere screeds. I see a lot of scholarship in the book and a valuable point of view. But if I had a different worldview, I might see her as just grinding the same ax.First read 10 years ago, and returned to it for a second go in early 2014. More posted to Dead Men Blogging.(And actually there's not much about eunuchs in here, except for Peter Abelard and the castrati.

  • CD
    2019-06-05 23:05

    Great book on the history behind the catholic church's misogyny.

  • Julia
    2019-05-31 18:56

    Kirchenkritik ist ja momenten en vogue, die Austrittszahlen zumindest der katholischen Kirche steigen seit Jahren (nicht erst seit Bekanntwerden verschiedener Missbrauchsskandale), und praktizierende Christen (und damit meine ich nicht die Fraktion, die nur an Weihnachten und zu Ostern den Gottesdienst besucht) findet man immer seltener.Uta Ranke-Heinemann schwimmt beileibe nicht nur auf dieser Zeitgeist-Welle, im Gegenteil: Sie war die weltweit erste Frau (!), die in katholischer Theologie eine Professur innehatte – und verlor diese, weil sie sich mit der Kirche überwarf (konkret ging es darum, dass sie die Jungfrauengeburt Marias anzweifelte). Also eine (kritische) Frau vom Fach, und das merkt man in diesem Buch auf jeder Seite: Ranke-Heinemann will ergründen, wie sich die katholische Kirche in eine derartige Feindlichkeit gegenüber der menschlichen Sexualität hereinsteigern konnte, die sich zu einer Überhöhung der Keuschheit und einer wie aus der Zeit gefallenen Frauen- und Homosexuellenfeindlichkeit entwickelt hat. Dabei geht sie sehr detailreich vor und gerade am Anfang muss man als Nicht-Theologin hier und da etwas Geduld aufbringen, wenn es um Päpste und Gelehrte ferner Jahrhunderte geht. Aber das ist gar nicht als Kritik gemeint, im Gegenteil: Wer sich für die Thematik interessiert (ansonsten würde man sowas ja auch kaum lesen), findet hier viel Interessantes; oft blieb mir auch einfach die Spucke weg, wie menschen- und frauenfeindlich argumentiert wurde und wie sehr sich die Kirchenväter eigentlich von Jesus entfernten – dieser wird ja, wie Ranke-Heinemann auch betont, durchaus als Frauenfreund beschrieben.Sowieso nimmt Ranke-Heinemann auch oft die Frauen in den Blick, die ja in der katholischen Kirche nichts zu melden haben. Sie weist sehr oft gesondert darauf hin, was bestimmte Regelungen und Meinungen speziell für Frauen bedeutet haben und immernoch bedeuten (in aller Regel nichts Gutes). Es tut mal ganz gut, das Schwarz auf Weiß zu lesen und auch festzustellen, dass mein eigenes Unbehagen über das Fehlen von Frauen in dieser immernoch wichtigen Institution auch von Fachleuten geteilt wird.Ranke-Heinemann balanciert ihren sachlichen, faktenreichen Stil gut mit feiner Ironie und vereinzelten eigenen Anekdoten aus. Wenn sie einen Essener Bischof zitiert, der ihr Mitte der 1960er Jahre schrieb: “Ich freue mich, dass Sie als Frau und Mutter noch geistig tätig sind”, muss man erstmal schmunzeln. Dass einem kurz darauf das Lachen im Halse stecken bleibt, wenn man versteht, was für ein Weltbild dahintersteht, dafür kann Ranke-Heinemann ja nichts.An wen richtet sich nun dieses Buch? Wer bereits kirchenkritisch eingestellt ist, findet hier einiges an Argumentationsstoff, für Praktizierende kann es Gedankenanstoß oder Diskussionsgrundlage sein (wobei ich persönlich fast nur Gläubige kenne, die selbst oft und gerne die Institution Kirche kritisieren). Ich denke, Ranke-Heinemann hatte auch gerade die Zweifelnden im Sinn – sie selbst ist ja trotz allem noch Katholikin (das sagte sie bei dem Vortrag, weil sie dort ebenfalls gefragt wurde, wieso sie denn bei aller Kritik noch nicht ausgetreten sei). Man muss nicht in allem mit ihr übereinstimmen, aber es ist immer gut, sich herausfordern zu lassen, sich vielleicht auch mal an Aussagen zu reiben und auf diese Weise die eigene Position zu prüfen. Und wenn es dann auf so scharfsinnige und oft witzige Weise geschieht wie mit diesem Buch – umso besser!

  • BillLan
    2019-06-11 01:00

    This is an excellent book that reveals how the catholic church fostered and established the patriarchy that dominates western culture. As is well known, the church demonized women (virgin birth), womanhood, to eliminate goddess cultures. This was one of the church's original sins that resonates in our society today. The book also focuses on how the church instituted the policy of celibacy of the priesthood. At the time it was announced that priest were forbidden to wed or have children, many priest were married and had children. The church imposed celibacy to protect its wealth. It did not want church property to be divided among heirs of priests and certainly did not want the church to be responsible for caring for the offspring of deceased priest. This point is well established in the book. The book also tracks the church's doctrine that its officials should not be subject to the laws of the countries or secular governments where they resided. It simply declared its officials exempt for responsibility for their criminal acts and civil misdeeds.The doctrine, of course, gave rise to the ridiculous concept that the church should be exempt from taxes and has led to modern day inequities where religion is used as a way to avoid participating in programs imposed on the rest of the citizenry in democratic states. Most dangerously, however, the author points out how the church was used as a haven for murderers and rapists who would seek shelter from prosecution by joining a monastery or becoming priests. Of course, the upshot of celibacy and a disregard for secular law is directly related to the church's mishandling of the sexual predators in the priesthood. Who really knows how many priests have committed sex crimes for hundreds of years only to be moved to another parish to exploit a new flock of alter boys and confessors. Well worth the read!

  • Bob
    2019-06-23 20:13

    Presents an effective refutation of the Catholic view of sex, founded in Augustinian teachings, including sex as sin, pleasure as sin and other confusing church views of sexuality.

  • Laurel Deloria
    2019-06-25 00:12

    Discover the Goddess Within You Myths are fascinating stories that become even more intriguing when we realize that they can reveal intimate truths about ourselves and others. Esteemed Jungian analyst Jean Shinoda Bolen brings the Greek pantheon to life as our inner archetypes and applies the..

  • Artur
    2019-06-02 23:14

    Świetne omówienie podstaw i ewolucji nauki Kościoła katolickiego w zakresie seksualności – oraz wszystkich wypaczeń, które dokonały się po drodze.

  • Elizabeth
    2019-06-11 22:02


  • Shae
    2019-06-22 18:55

    A little to text book for my taste.

  • S.
    2019-06-02 16:54

    I love reading the polemic, especially when I want to agree with it.

  • Jennifer
    2019-06-07 21:00

    A ridiculous screed.