Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Chastity, Dartmouth style

The current issue of the Dartmouth Review features a review of the talk I gave there just before Valentine's Day:

Eden told the audience that before she came to this joy, her romantic life was driven by "the Sex and the City rule," which is the idea that sex comes before love and that sex pushes the relationship. She argued that sex is in fact a much more beautiful and giving act when it follows love.

When sex comes first, Eden asserted, "you are really making a demand, saying 'you better not hurt me and you better stay with me.'"

Eden stated that sexuality cannot be the gift it is supposed to be when sex becomes a demand or a way to find love. Eden has experienced this principle in her own life; she stated that her relationships are now much more meaningful than they were during her hedonistic period. [Full article]

The same issue of the Review includes an interview with "chaste and Catholic writer Dawn Eden.

There is one typo in the interview—I am quoted as saying we "imagine God" when I said we "image God" (and I also made a mistake myself, saying conjugal love "prefigures" the love of the Trinity—that should have been "images"). But it is wonderful coverage and I am very thankful for it, and likewise thankful to Aquinas House, the Dominican-run Catholic campus ministry, for inviting me to provide an alternative to the college's annual "SexFest."

In the wake of my talk, Aquinas House associate chaplain Father Francis Belanger O.P. provided me with a quote to add to the testimonials on

"Dawn Eden did us a terrific favor by speaking on chastity at Dartmouth College. She helped us make a bold statement in favor of Christian sexual morality during the College's annual sexuality event, which is at best relativistic and at worse obscene. We invited the whole campus to hear Dawn speak and got a great turnout. She was bold and inspiring in her presentation, using the idea of sexuality as self-gift as a key to open people's minds to the joy and truth of chastity. Her personal tale of transformation was especially pertinent for the students, who hear so much misinformation and error in this important area of morality. It was an enlightening and refreshingly different evening."