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Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman's Soul is a popular and controversial book in the American Christian market. Published in 2005 by John Eldredge and his wife Stasi, it proposes that women have three core desires: "to be romanced, to play an irreplaceable role in a great adventure, and to unveil beauty." (Eldredge 8). It also proposes that God made woman as the "Crown of Creation", an embodiment of God's beauty, mystery and vulnerability. The concept of woman as the "Crown of Creation" has become the subject of much controversy surrounding the book, critics claiming that it exalts women above men in the Creation.
The book rejects the idea of an ideal woman and explores biblical scripture from the view that God desires woman to embrace her glory, rather than fear her femininity. Captivating is a companion to Wild at Heart, also by John Eldredge, and argues that its model of femininity complements men's innate desires for a battle to fight, an adventure to live, and a beauty to rescue.
The authors use scriptural analysis, personal experience and interviews with others as the basis for their argument. The book has received considerable criticism from people both within and outside the Christian sphere. Many argue that the authors' personal experiences add too much bias to a book intended to address wide human conditions; many claim that the authors' scriptural analyses are incorrect.
- Amazon.com reviews
- Critical Review
- Christianity Today's critique of Captivating
- Review of Captivating
- Who's Captivating Whom?
- Captivating: A Biblical Critique
- Created to be Captivating?
- Review of Captivating (Reformed Baptist perspective)
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