Categories: Religion

Interview: To Touch or Not to Touch?

People have varying levels of comfort with physical touch. Some are happy to receive hugs from friends—or even total strangers. Others would prefer that everyone else keep their hands to themselves. Throw in the taboos surrounding evangelical purity culture and the wider social reckoning with unwanted sexual attention, and it quickly becomes a challenge to discern, in individual cases, whether touch is a welcome gesture or a violation of personal space. How can believers minister well in this environment? Lore Ferguson Wilbert takes up this question in Handle with Care: How Jesus Redeems the Power of Touch in Life and Ministry, which builds on her 2016 CT Women article, “Public Displays of Christian Affection.” Writer Abby Perry spoke with Wilbert about her book.