"Elisabeth Gerle reveals the long-lost and lovable body in Luther's theology. Without muffling the internal contradictions and half-millennium distance, Gerle solicits in this breakthrough of sensual materiality, of vibrant attention ethical and erotic to our physicality, a crucial ancestor for sexual politics and embodied spirituality today. Her writing beautifully performs the passion it so lucidly describes."
--Catherine Keller, Drew University
"Taking body as the starting point for theology sheds critical light on the dangers of body cult vs. body loathing today, and the historic dualism with its many tentacles. Elisabeth Gerle returns to the fundamentals of Christian faith: God mysteriously, yet really, present in body, and human beings' sensory experience of God in grief and delight. In this aesthetically and intellectually stimulating treatment, immersed in apt global discourse across disciplines, Martin Luther emerges as an ally for a holistic spirituality with political consequences. A unique book, written with passion."
--Kirsi Stjerna, Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary
"Lund ethicist Elisabeth Gerle's enchanting voice comes as a gift to the North American public. Gerle recovers Luther's truly original theological genius in bringing to the fore the implications of the Reformer's view of God in the passions of the flesh. This work liberates love, body, and sensuality from a discipline that for too many a century entrapped theological dogmas, perverting into sins of the flesh the loving sensuous fervors of the body. With the help of Luther's theological incarnational turn, eroticism receives its proper place in theological language. This book fills a long-standing lacuna. Passionate Embrace is indeed most embraceable."
--Vitor Westhelle, author of Eschatology and Space: The Lost Dimension in Theology Past and Present
"In an age where the 'body of knowledge' on Reformation and Transformation is actually characterized by 'dis-embodiedness' Elisabeth Gerle provides us with this book about Transformative Passion. In a critical dialogue with Luther and contemporary theologians she expands our thinking on Love, Body, and Sensual Presence that challenges nostalgic theological trends dreaming of the past."
--Sarojini Nadar, Desmond Tutu Research Chair, University of the Western Cape
"With the instincts of a jazz singer, Gerle weaves feminist, Lutheran and eros theologies together with political theory and ethics. Intentionally breaking the rules of patriarchal texts, her non-linear writing is designed to entice and evoke. Gerle's deep, broad research propose fresh resources for understanding grace-filled, embodied desire at the heart of theology. Passion draws us to one another and to God, healing and calling us to live more deeply into the world."
--Marit Trelstad, Professor of Constructive Theology, Department of Religion, Pacific Lutheran University