What do they have in common? Their work stands at the nexus of sex and religion, historically odd bedfellows. Hosted by Canadian broadcast journalist and writer, Laurie Brown, Sex + Religion asks rabbis, priests, philosophers, prostitutes and polygamists, to shed light onto what role, if any, sex plays in the pursuit of spiritual enlightenment.
This 13-part series explores the world’s four major religions: Christianity, Judaism, Islam, and Hinduism while ministers, rabbis, imams, priests and other religious experts give us insight into how ordinary people can reconcile their sexuality and their love of God.
#101: In Praise of Sex
Paul, a Christian pastor, was inspired by his own infidelity to create the 30-Day Sex Challenge, a plan to strengthen couples emotionally and physically. Dr. Heba Kotb, Islam’s only female sexologist, courts controversy in the East and the West.
#102: Divine Art
How far can artists go in depicting sex in a religious context, and at what point do religious objections become censorship? Actor Leonard Nimoy’s photography took him on a search for the feminine aspect of God, and Diana Thorneycroft uses her photography to take on the Catholic Church.
Exploring the notion of purity, and why virginity is so prized in major religions. We interview kids who were given a talk on chastity, go to a father-daughter “purity ball” in South Carolina, and talk to a doctor specializing in hymen reconstruction surgery.
#104: Sex and Religion on Display
What happens when openly religious people also openly express their sexuality in a creative way? Jewish actress/comedian Jamie Sneider and Mormon Chad Hardy create provocative calendars, while Muslim artist Makan Emadi takes a risk with his paintings.
Exploring the issue of contraception in religion: we look at the history of contraception with Percy Skuy, speak to a renegade Catholic bishop, and discover how Cape Town’s mosques and churches have been both allies and obstacles to an AIDS organization.
Exploring the controversial practice of polygamy: we visit a Mormon math teacher and his two wives, a rural Iranian man and his four wives, and a woman who renounced polygamy.
Exploring how different religions deal with pornography: Christian pastor Craig Gross started the XXXChurch to talk about the problem, while Muslim filmmaker Ahmed Khaled is under attack for a work he never intended to be pornographic.
#108: Wedding Night
For religious couples, the ritual of the wedding night can run the gamut from thrilling to terrifying. Hear the stories of a Canadian couple in their 70s and a young Syrian woman about to marry a man she barely knows.
Featuring a segment on what prostitution is like in a Muslim country, a segment recreating the Bible story of Tamar, and the story of Annie Lobert, an ex-prostitute whose Hookers4Jesus organization works on getting women off the Las Vegas strip.
#110: Preaching Sex
More and more, religious leaders are teaching that sexual expression deepens the marital bond. Rabbi Shmuley Boteach finds scriptural evidence that God sanctions the use of sex toys, while Pastor Carnell Borden and his wife Angela sell “relationship enhancement products.”
#111: Sex as Religion
Exploring tantra: can sex be a way to connect with the divine? We look at the documentary “Sex Magic” and interview a couple who try a tantric retreat.
#112: Same Sex Attraction
Exploring the place of same-sex attraction in religion. People from all walks of life address the issue to the camera, and we meet Tony and Peggy Campolo, married Baptist ministers who disagree on gay marriage and are holding a public debate.
#113: Sexual Fantasy
What do religions say about sexual fantasy? Antiquity detective Sarah Dunant29 tells the story of how pornographic pictures ended up in the Vatican walls, while a man raised in a strict Mennonite household tells us how sexual oppression turned him into a sex addict.