Full Project – HUMAN SEXUALITY IN THE SONG OF SONGS AND ITS ETHICAL RELEVANCE TO CONTEMPORARY IGBO SOCIETY

Full Project – HUMAN SEXUALITY IN THE SONG OF SONGS AND ITS ETHICAL RELEVANCE TO CONTEMPORARY IGBO SOCIETY

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

Title Page

Blank Page

Requirement Page

Approval Page

Certification Page

Declaration

Dedication

Acknowledgement

Abstract

Table of Contents

CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION

1.1.      Statement of Problem

1.2.      Purpose of the Study

1.3       Research Methodology

1.4.      Scope and Limitation of Study

1.5.      Significance of the Study

CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW

2.1.      Sex and Sexuality

2.2.      Sexuality and Personal Development

2.3.      Scope and Purpose of Sexuality

2.4.      Sexuality and Singleness

2.5.      Sexual Fantasy and Masturbation

2.6.      Deviant Sexual Practices

2.7.      The Song of Songs and Human Sexuality

CHAPTER THREE: HISTORICAL BACKGROUND TO SONG OF SONGS

3.1.      Authorship/Date of Song of Song

3.2.      Canonization

3.3.      Literary Qualities

3.4.      The Song of Songs and Intertextual Connection

CHAPTER FOUR: THE SONG OF SONGS AND HISTORY OF INTERPRETATION

4.1.      The Song of Songs in Jewish Interpretation

4.2.      The Song of Songs in Christian Interpretation

4.3.      Interpretative Approaches

CHAPTER FIVE: SEXUALITY AND SEXUAL ETHICS IN THE SONG OF SONGS

5.1.      Sexual Terminologies in Song of Songs

5.2.      Sexual Imagery in the Song of Songs

5.3.      The Song of Songs and Sexual Ethics

5.4       The text in Hebrew

5.5       Textual and Critical Commentary on the Text

5.6       Implications of Sexual Ethics in the Song of Song

CHAPTER SIX: THE RELEVANCE OF THE SONG OF SONGS TO HUMAN SEXUALITY IN THE CONTEMPORARY IGBO SOCIETY

6.1       Polygamy

6.2       Respect for Individual Choice In Marriage

6.3       Need for Sexual Intimacy in Marriage

6.4       Marriage for Procreation

6.5       Taboos for Sex within Marriage

6.6       Chastity among the Youths

6.7.      Incest in Igbo Culture

6.8       Engagement- A Binding Arrangement

6.9       Sex Education: the Need for the Family and Society

CHAPTER SEVEN: SUMMARY, RECOMMENDATIONS AND CONCLUSION

7.1.      Summary of Findings

7.2       Contribution to Knowledge

7.3       Recommendations

7.4       Suggestions for Further Studies

7.5       Conclusion

            References

Abstract

Human sexuality includes the sex organs as well as the way one thinks and feels about them and uses them. In Igbo culture, human sexuality is viewed as sacred and not openly discussed. The Song of Songs is one book of the Bible in which human sexuality is given some attention. Previous research has, through allegorical methodology, played down on the reality of human sexuality in the Bible’s Song of Songs. Some recent scholars do not seem to be interested in Song of Songs and its concepts of human sexuality. The aim of the study was to determine the biblical teaching on human sexuality as represented in the Song of Songs and its ethical relevance to contemporary Igbo society. This study adopted the descriptive qualitative design. Data for the study were sourced from the Bible, Hebrew Masoretic Text, Septuagint, Ancient Near Eastern Texts, Bible Dictionaries and Encyclopedias, Concordances and Lexicons, interviews and other extant materials on the subject matter. The Song of Songs from the language and the imagery used presents a sexual love song between two adult lovers in a heterosexual relationship. In unrivalled poetic language, the Song of Songs explores the whole range of sexuality experienced by lovers as they work out their commitment to each other. The Igbo culture has preserved through some traditional practices human sexual values especially in the areas of chastity for the young and married women. These traditional values are quickly eroding away as a result of the influence of western culture in contemporary Igbo society. Thus, the ethics of sexuality enshrined in the Song of Songs is very relevant in strengthening the contemporary Igbo culture and her traditional practices with regards to human sexuality.

 

CHAPTER ONE:

INTRODUCTION

1.1.             STATEMENT OF PROBLEM

In most cultures like the Igbo culture, sex is sacred and talking about it constitutes a

taboo. Nonetheless, everyone (male and female) is a sexual being. McCary (1975, p.149) asserts that “Exploring and experiencing our own se xuality is part of being human”. Whatever the external restraints, everyone has an interest in sex, just as all have an interest in food. Usually when a book about food is read, it is so that a new recipe can be tried out. Most of the time, when people read about sex, it is with a similar purpose in mind: how to make sex a more enjoyable experience.

Howe (1991, p. 11) laments that man’s curiosity and interest concerning sexuality is not always guided and nurtured in a wholesome way. He goes on to say that throughout childhood and adolescence many parents and guardians teach their children quite comfortably and naturally about trees, animals, electricity, cooking, and many other aspects of life in the world. They usually do not, however, teach about sexual matters with similar ease. As a result, many grow into adulthood with partial and distorted views of human sexuality.

The Churches have not been particularly helpful in this regard. While members are frequently reminded of what they are not to do, they are seldom shown the positive biblical teaching about human sexuality. The prevalence of pornography, rape, fornication, adultery, and incest, even among Christians, attest to the urgent need for specific ethical instruction and guidance in the realm of human sexuality. These evils exist even among Christians, yet members seldom, if ever, discuss them in Churches.

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