Wild Goose Publications 9.99 (1-901557-98-7); Church Times Booksho9
Using sexuality to serve: Gay spirituality can be focused for a purposeDerek Rawcliffe learn
Urs Mattmann and his partner are members of the German ecumenical communitFriedensgasse. He originally wrote this book in German in 2001, and has notranslated it into English.
He aims to emphasise the spir-itual dimension of being gay or lesbian, anwrites with an emphasis on this rather than the theological. The book "dealwith the mystic journey undertaken by those who are sexually different". Huses his experiences of other religions, and of transpersonal psychology anmeditation, both Christian and Zen.
Homosexuality is not an acci-dent, he says, a pointless product of creationIt has a purpose, a poten-tial. There are three levels in this: sexuaintercourse; relationship; and a different, or altered, conscious-ness. Hwants a holistic approach, a sexuality connected to soul, spirit, and mind, awell as body.
The book is not just theoretical. At the end of every chapter there is practical exercise to be followed: questions; a suggested activity to helunderstand the content of the chapter; a meditation exercise with detaileinstructions; and finally a short prayer. As well as being aids to meditatioand contemplation, the exercises involve all kinds of prac-tical activitiesthe last in the book being the use of a Christian form of tarot cards. Some othe material used seems rather New Agey.
He wants to show that "queers" can use their sexuality to serve humanity anchange it for the better. Gay energy can be focused and expanded into artisticsocial, political, spiritual, and sociological concerns.
The book is a real attempt to do what the subtitle says: to reclaim thspiritual journey for gays and lesbians.The Rt Revd Derek Rawcliffe is a former Bishop of Glasgow & Galloway.