The Exploitation of Body on Behalf of Religion: (Wayward) Childs of God and Flirty Fishing


Turan S.

DINBILIMLERI AKADEMIK ARASTIRMA DERGISI-JOURNAL OF ACADEMIC RESEARCH IN RELIGIOUS SCIENCES, cilt.19, sa.1, ss.9-52, 2019 (ESCI İndekslerine Giren Dergi) identifier

  • Yayın Türü: Makale / Tam Makale
  • Cilt numarası: 19 Konu: 1
  • Basım Tarihi: 2019
  • Dergi Adı: DINBILIMLERI AKADEMIK ARASTIRMA DERGISI-JOURNAL OF ACADEMIC RESEARCH IN RELIGIOUS SCIENCES
  • Sayfa Sayıları: ss.9-52

Özet

''The Children of God" (COG), now called "The Family", is a new religious movement emerged during the late 1960s under the leadership of the Christian evangelical preacher, David Berg (1919-1994). By the late 1970s, the group had engendered a great deal of academic and popular debate due to, among other things, its controversial sexual practices. Berg's reinterpretation of sexuality emerged a belief system that not only condoned, but also actively encouraged, sexual promiscuity between adults, between children, and most alarmingly, between adults and children. Heavy emphasis Berg placed upon sexual relationships contributed to the adoption of specific beliefs in terms of the human body, especially for the women in the group. One aspect of sexual relations within the COG is "Flirty Fishing" strategy. It is a practice that encouraged female members to proselytize using their sexuality as a tool to attract new male converts. In this study, without referring to social theories of the body, it is dwelled on the topics as the background of flirty fishing, its essence and content, how women were able to endure the physical and emotional aspects of flirty fishing and how they contextualized their behaviour in terms of the group's belief system, and finally effects and reflections of flirty fishing. In order to explore these topics, it is made use of documents that include many of Berg's writings (specifically those that refer to women's bodies, sexuality, and flirty fishing), the autobiographical accounts of ex-member Miriam Williams and Rose McGowan, some of the comments made by other women in the group who discussed their experiences during interviews, and other subsidiary sources.