Friday, February 13, 2015

"The heart of chastity is loving others as God loves you"
My new interview for The Stream

The Christian news website The Stream today features an in-depth interview with me about The Thrill of the Chaste (Catholic Edition). From "The Power of Chastity: An Interview with Dawn Eden":

The Stream: Your latest book is The Thrill of the Chaste: Catholic Edition. For those of us who read and loved your first book (should we call that the Evangelical Edition?), why did you decide to go back and do this one over?

Dawn Eden: The original Thrill of the Chaste was the book I wanted to write in 2005, as a Jewish convert to Evangelical Protestantism. I felt there was a need for a book on chastity for adults like myself who had sought love in things that were not love.

By the time the Thrill came out in December 2006, however, my life had changed significantly. I was still seeking to live chastely, but I was now doing so as a Catholic. Living within the rhythms of the liturgical seasons and the sacraments, with the saints as my friends in heaven, made a real difference in my practice of chastity, but the book I was promoting did not reflect that. So, in a sense, although I am proud of the original Thrill and am thankful that it has helped people, I have wanted to rewrite it from the moment it came out, to add what was lacking.

Also, there was the problem of the original Thrill being directed only to single women like myself. I made the choice to write for women because I thought it would make the book more personal, but it had the unfortunate effect of making me appear to be reinforcing the myth that chastity is for women only. That myth is not Christian in origin, but it has unfortunately seeped into Christian circles, leading radical feminists to use it as a stick with which to beat people of faith.

So, I was glad to have the opportunity to rewrite The Thrill for an audience of men and women, and also to talk about different kinds of chastity — not only single chastity, but also marital chastity. Chastity is for everyone; it is just lived differently according to the type of relationship. For married people, it means sharing a love that is freely willed, total, faithful, and fruitful. Whatever your state of life, the heart of chastity is loving others as God loves you.

Read the rest at The Stream. Many thanks to Stream reporter Anika Smith for asking such thoughtful questions!