Within the Christian tradition, bridal theology, also referred to as mystical marriage, is the New Testament portrayal of communion with Jesus as a marriage, and God's reign as a wedding banquet. This tradition in turn traces back to the Old Testament. This theology has influenced the works of Catherine of Siena, Teresa of Ávila, Gregory the Great and Bernard of Clairvaux. A similar concept existed in Valentinian Gnosticism with the notion of the bridal chamber, which involved a marriage to one's heavenly counterpart. Some mystics take this 'marriage' as a symbol of Union with God and hence, no negative connotations are sharpened for orthodox thinkers.
In a cult, originating in the '60s, that is known as The Family International, a particularly radical form of bridal theology is taught: members of the group of both sexes are encouraged to masturbate while visualizing themselves as women having sex with Jesus. This is known within the cult as the "Loving Jesus revelation";  however, it does not accurately reflect mainstream conceptions of bridal theology, and is not accepted beyond the cult of its origin.
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- Kenda, Creasy Dean (2004). Practicing passion: youth and the quest for a passionate church. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans Pub. pp. 124–126. ISBN 0-8028-4712-9.
- Balthasar, Hans Urs von; Fessio, Joseph; Riches, John Kenneth (1983). The glory of the Lord: a theological aesthetics. San Francisco: Ignatius Press. ISBN 0-89870-249-6.
- Philip L. Tite, Valentinian Ethics and Paraenetic Discourse
- "Loving Jesus".
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