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Ars Erotica

Ars Erotica
Sex and Somaesthetics in the Classical Arts of Love

$34.99 (P)

  • Publication planned for: January 2021
  • availability: Not yet published - available from January 2021
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521181204

$ 34.99 (P)

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About the Authors
  • The term ars erotica refers to the styles and techniques of lovemaking with the honorific title of art. But in what sense are these practices artistic and how do they contribute to the aesthetics and ethics of self-cultivation in the art of living? In this book, Richard Shusterman offers a critical, comparative analysis of the erotic theories proposed by the most influential premodern cultural traditions that shaped our contemporary world. Beginning with ancient Greece, whose god of desiring love gave eroticism its name, Shusterman examines the Judaeo-Christian biblical tradition and the classical erotic theories of Chinese, Indian, Islamic, and Japanese cultures, before concluding with medieval and Renaissance Europe. His exploration of their errors and insights shows how we could improve the quality of life and love today. By using the engine of eros to cultivate qualities of sensitivity, grace, skill, and self-mastery, we can reimagine a richer, more positive vision of sex education.

    • Presents detailed analysis of the classical erotic theories of the major world cultural traditions (from antiquity through the Renaissance) by situating them in their philosophical, historical, and social background
    • Provides multidisciplinary and transdisciplinary accessible narrative and non-technical analysis using the tools of philosophy, history, literary criticism, cultural theory, religion research, sex and gender studies, and somaesthetics
    • Contains insights on lovemaking from multiple ancient cultures
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    Reviews & endorsements

    ‘The unending struggle to reconcile the ‘base’ demands of the desiring body with the elevating aspirations of culture defines human history. Drawing on his pioneering work in somaesthetics, Richard Shusterman displays extraordinary erudition in presenting the ways in which seven great civilizations have fashioned an ars erotica seeking to do justice to both.’ Martin Jay, University of California, Berkeley

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    Product details

    • Publication planned for: January 2021
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521181204
    • dimensions: 228 x 152 mm
    • availability: Not yet published - available from January 2021
  • Table of Contents

    1. Ars Erotica and the question of aesthetics
    2. Dialectics of desire and virtue
    3. The biblical tradition
    4. Chinese Qi erotics
    5. Lovemaking as aesthetic education
    6. Fragrance, veils, and violence
    7. From romantic refinement to courtesan conoisseurship
    8. Commingling, complexity, and conflict.

  • Author

    Richard Shusterman, Florida Atlantic University
    Richard Shusterman is the Dorothy F. Schmidt Eminent Scholar in the Humanities at Florida Atlantic University. His books include Pragmatist Aesthetics (published in fifteen languages) as well as Body Consciousness and Thinking through the Body. For his pioneering work in philosophy and somaesthetics the French awarded him as Chevalier des Palmes Académiques.

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