Theology of the body for a pornographic age


Talbot School of Theology

Publication Date

Spring 2015


The Internet has become a normal and formative influence in the lives of emerging adults. Within this engagement, the consumption of sexualized content has become de rigueur. The regular use of pornographic materials has raised fundamental questions regarding online encounters vis-a-vis real encounters. Is an online engagement of sexually explicit materials simply a 'virtual' experience or does it necessarily have a physical dimension? How are cyber-sexual encounters the same of different than physical ones? These issues calll for an understanding of the body and sexuality that extends into the cyber-based versions of the self. Spiritual formation efforts will increasingly need to take into account the online lives and interactions of people. To that end, understanding the interaction of the body and soul, when engaging an online sexually explicit image, is an important task of the church. This article will lay the groundwork for a biblical understanding of being human and being sexual within an online context. The goodness of the body will be addressed as well as an exploration of the ways sin affects the whole person, particularly through the engagement of pornography. Together, this discussion will better equip the church to continue to assist Christians in conforming their lives, online or offline, to the image of Christ.


Internet pornography; Spiritual life--Christianity

Publication Title

Journal of Spiritual Formation & Soul Care





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