In this title, Coakley cuts creatively across established ecclesiastical battle lines and draws both camps into a new serious reflection on ascetical theology tout court. Each chapter in this new book concentrates on a highly contentious issue in contemporary theology - the role of women, homosexuality, celibacy and so forth, but in a way to argue for an entirely new ascetical theology. Professor Coakley is familiar with the Bible and the Early Fathers as she is with the writings of Freud and Jung and her thesis is entirely original and may start to heal many contemporary wounds. Coakley draws heavily upon the theology of St Gregory of Nyssa in her argument. For Gregory desire as thwarted, chastened, transformed, renewed and finally intensified in God, bringing forth spiritual fruits. This points the way through the false modern alternatives of repression and libertarianism, between agape and eros and has curiously many points of contact with Freud. In this way homoerotic desire at least could be potentially released from its cultural and biblical associations with promiscuity and disorder.