Wise Sex: Affirmation of Human Sexuality and Female Desire in the Song of Songs

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Kaley Hawk


The wisdom literature of the Hebrew Scriptures illuminates the truth of the natural longing for authentic love and expressive sexuality in a most unexpected manner.  Due to its explicit sexual nature, the Song of Songs is a biblical book that many interpreters have struggled to tame.  Perhaps the book was never meant to be tamed.  When the lovers in the book are allowed to speak in their lovesick humanity, the wisdom of God's Word proves more potent.  One is able to see how God intended human love to be--raw, passionate, and mutual.  As part of the the canonized Scriptures, and the widsom tradition in particular, the Song of Songs has a divinely sanctioned voice that speaks biblical truth, however shocking.  The wisdom of the Song is this: human love and sexuality are gifts from God that flourish best in a mutual relationship of respect.  Even further, the Song endorses the celebration of sexuality and intense longing, especially from a woman, a reflection of wisdom in the Scriptures that is unique, unsettling, and wholly needed.

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Author Biography

Kaley Hawk

Kaley M. Hawk will graduate in May with her M.A. in Theology. She received her B.A., summa cum laude, in History from Whitworth University in 2007, and has since traveled abroad with Youth With a Mission in France and Madagascar and taught secondary history. Kaley's research interests include spirituality and education, sex and gender in religion, and violence towards women in religion.  Kaley would like to thank her husband, Ian, who models “the Song's” brand of love to her each day. She would also like to thank Dr. Carey Walsh for facilitating challenging class discussions and encouraging this research.