To Die For?

Sex and Power in Michel Foucault’s The History of Sexuality, introduced and annotated by Pete Sanlon.


Pete Sanlon is Vicar of St. Mark’s Tunbridge Wells. He has a PhD from Cambridge University on Augustine’s Preaching and has published several books on doctrine and culture, including Plastic People: How Queer Theory Changes Us All.

Ideas for further thought and discussion

1. How does Foucault help us understand the contemporary view of sexual identity and behaviour?

2. How does Foucault warn us of the futility of the contemporary approach to sex?

3. How can the Church avoid teaching about sex in a way that it merely imposes another set of culturally conditioned taboos or expectations?

4. What can your church do to become a counter-cultural community to those damaged by the contemporary culture’s approach to sex?

Other resources

1. Helpful website with resources on Foucault:

2. Cambridge Paper Essay on significance of Foucault:

3. Documentary on Foucault ‘Beyond Good and Evil’:

4. Biographies of Foucault:

  • David Macey, The Lives of Michel Foucault (New York: Pantheon Books, 1994)
  • James Miller, The Passion of Michel Foucault (Harvard University Press, 2013)