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“Born Again Is a Sexual Term”: Demons, STDs, and God’s Healing Sperm September 28, 2009

Posted by Geekgirl in Commentary, Pseudoscience.
Tags: ,

While this article does not fit my criterion of being a scientific publication, I found it so unusual that I thought I would post it.
Remember folks, I’m the messenger. But I will add one bit of editorial comment, based on 30 years of being a molecular biologist.
I am unaware of any scientific reports of demons being lodged in genetic material.  I hate to admit, I find texts scary and even more scary that people write them and believe them. This article appears to be an academic review of evangelical literature that disguises itself as science.

“Born Again Is a Sexual Term”: Demons, STDs, and God’s Healing Sperm

Amy DeRogatis

Amy DeRogatis, Michigan State University, 116 Morrill Hall, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA

E-mail: derogat1@msu.edu

Published by Oxford University Press, on behalf of the American Academy of Religion.


In this article I examine the intersection between sexuality and spirit-filled bodies in American Evangelicalism. I am interested in investigating two issues: the sexual body as a site of spiritual battle and the use of popular science, especially the domain of genetics, as material evidence for this spiritual warfare. Specifically, I trace the increasingly spiritualized framing of marital intercourse in evangelical literature. To follow this trajectory, I highlight the spiritualized dangers of transgressive sexuality as well as the sexualizing of spirituality in evangelical sex manuals and deliverance manuals. This article centers around one text, Holy Sex: God’s Purpose and Plan for Our Sexuality, whose authors’ contend that sexually transmitted diseases are, in fact, demons lodged in genetic material that can be transferred through body fluids and bloodlines. The assertions about biology and demonic affliction made throughout the book are extreme and would be rejected by most readers of mainstream evangelical sex manuals. I argue that this book, though marginal, is not an irrelevant text. It reflects deep-seated anxieties about sexual bodies, spiritual concerns, and disease. Idiosyncratic though it may seem, Holy Sex taps into wider uncertainties about the spiritual vulnerability of the physical body found in contemporary evangelical literature.

I have given versions of this article to the Michigan State University’s Feminist Symposium (April 2007), Michigan State University Gender Center’s Colloquia Series (March 2007), and on the panel “Religion, Text, and Sex: Contemporary Religious Sex Manuals,” in the Religion and Popular Culture session of the annual meeting of the American Academy of Religion (November 2006). I would like to thank the audience members for their thoughtful questions and comments and especially R. Marie Griffith who responded to the panel. My thanks also go to conversation partners and readers who helped me in countless ways as I have reworked this essay: Chris Frilingos, Philip Goff, Georgia Frank, Martha Finch, Alice Dreger, Nathan Rein, Anna Celenza, Kathryn Lofton, Malcolm Magee, and the anonymous JAAR reviewers. Kristy Slominski assisted with the research. I wrote this article for Joe, my chromosomally enhanced angel, who dispelled all my demons on the day he was born.



1. Zoe Brain - December 18, 2009

“Idiosyncratic though it may seem….”

Just a bit, yes.

People who believe in Witchcraft, Demons, Djinni, the International Zionist Conspiracy, etc etc are a real concern.

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