God and the Body addresses the challenges to traditional Christianity by gay and lesbian Christians and their critics within the church. This controversial book will be welcomed for the radical new insights it provides into Christian arguments about the body.
Perhaps no other single moral issue today is as hotly contested, or as divisive, as sexuality. Offering a bold and hopeful vision of how Christians - and all people of goodwill - can view this explosive topic, ethicist Christine Gudorf proposes nothing less than a sweeping challenge to traditional Christian teaching on sexual roles, activities, and relationships. Deftly drawing on Scripture, natural law, historical and contemporary Catholic and Protestant theology, the social sciences, and, significantly, the lived experiences of today's women and men, Gudorf presents a carefully crafted and systematic reconstruction of Christian sexual ethics. Her aim, above all, is to engender appreciation, not rejection and shame, of our bodies and our sexuality. Contending that body, sex, and pleasure are divine gifts revealing God's grace, Gudorf emphasizes the need to understand sexual desire as a positive good, a source of love and commitment. She further explores the relationship between sexuality and reproduction, arguing that "procreationism" - the assumption that the sole aim and ultimate end of sexuality must always be offspring - is unjust and oppressive. Written with insight, clarity, and compassion, Body, Sex, and Pleasure is a provocative and compelling call to all women and men to reject the damaging influence of body/soul dualism - and, ultimately, to do justice to the Incarnation, the central revelations of Scripture, and human dignity.
Christian Perspectives on Sexuality and Gender is a collection of important, challenging and creative articles. Originally published separately in different journals they are offered here for the first time to a wider audience. The writers represent a variety of Christian (and one non-Christian) responses to issues such as: sexuality and the Christian tradition; sexuality and gender; power and relation; marriage; sexuality and spirituality; love; gay and lesbian sexuality; the body; sexuality and love; sexuality and violence; sexuality and singleness and the family. Christian Perspectives on Sexuality and Gender will prove a vital and invaluable resource to scholars, students and all those interested in Christianity's attempts to wrestle with issues of sexuality and gender.
The topic of sexuality intersects directly with the most contested historical, theological, and ethical questions of our day. In this edgy yet profound volume, noted scholars and theologians assay the Christian tradition's classic and contemporary understandings of sex, sexuality, and sexual identity. The project unfolds in three phases: contemporary assessments of the Christian tradition, new thinking about eros and being human religiously, and new perspectives on classic mysteries in light of eros and embodiment.
This important philosophical reflection on love and sexuality from a broadly Christian perspective is aimed at philosophers, theologians, and educated Christian readers. Alexander R. Pruss focuses on foundational questions on the nature of romantic love and on controversial questions in sexual ethics on the basis of the fundamental idea that romantic love pursues union of two persons as one body. One Body begins with an account, inspired by St. Thomas Aquinas, of the general nature of love as constituted by components of goodwill, appreciation, and unitiveness. Different forms of love, such as parental, collegial, filial, friendly, fraternal, or romantic, Pruss argues, differ primarily not in terms of goodwill or appreciation but in terms of the kind of union that is sought. Pruss examines romantic love as distinguished from other kinds of love by a focus on a particular kind of union, a deep union as one body achieved through the joint biological striving of the sort involved in reproduction. Taking the account of the union that romantic love seeks as a foundation, the book considers the nature of marriage and applies its account to controversial ethical questions, such as the connection between love, sex, and commitment and the moral issues involving contraception, same-sex activity, and reproductive technology. With philosophical rigor and sophistication, Pruss provides carefully argued answers to controversial questions in Christian sexual ethics.
In this highly readable book Gareth moore examines some of the principle arguments and styles of argument advanced by Christians, particularly the Roman Catholic Church, in support of Christian standards in sexual ethics. Catholic teaching has sought to present those standards and values as ones which anyone can embrace; ones which they should be able to see as right if only they think about them in the right way. Arguments have been drawn from Scripture and also from philosophy and experience, the latter being particularly important at a time when the Church can no longer 'lay down the law', but has to be able to persuade. But are these arguments valid, or are they flawed? Moore's study covers such wide-ranging topics as sexual pleasure, the purpose of sex, sexual gestures, marriage, contraception and homosexuality; and in these areas, and the more specific sexual issues he covers, he often finds the Church's case to be defective. Though the Church has valuable things to say, its supporting arguments can be unconvincing. Better arguments, he claims, are needed; or, alternatively, the possibility has to be faced that the Churches' teaching needs modification. Whatever the case, the Church needs to do more thinking about sex.
An updated and expanded edition of a classic work on the Christian meaning of human sexuality by an acclaimed teacher and priest. The unique gift of human sexuality allows us to choose, or not to choose, to participate in one form of God's creation. This book presents the understanding of human sexuality that divine revelation offers us. It is intended primarily for Christian adults who wish to know what kinds of sexual behavior are right or wrong, and to gain true insight into why such behavior is right or wrong for those who seek to love and live in Christ. For sexual morality is part of the mystery of our life in Christ and makes full sense only when seen as such. Understanding of this Christian mystery, as far as we are given access to it, is offered us through the Scriptures and the living Tradition of the Church. This book uses Scripture and the teaching of the early Church Fathers to show what sexuality means in Christian terms, and is an indispensable guide to learning not just what the Church teaches, but why. Quay's insightful descriptions of the complementarity of male and female, a complementarity that is psychological, spiritual and bodily are exceptionally illuminating. It also explains the Bible's frequent use of the symbolism of marriage and sexuality in its accounts of the Covenant to understand better the relationship between God and his people, and the relationship of spouses to one another. It reflects on the natural symbolism of the human body and of spousal communion as a way to understand what is right and proper in sexual activity, and what is not. The new material in this expanded edition considers the theology of natural family planning (NFP). It explains the moral principles that govern the use of NFP and also provides a theological reflection on the meaning of this practice.
Initiated by the ELCA seminary presidents, this volume is aimed at engendering reflection and conversation. Faithful Conversations includes five essays, a "table talk" about how specific issues in the church are affected by these perspectives, a select bibliography of further readings, and directions on how the resource might be used.
Nelson offers an incarnational way of doing theology in this unique book. He takes body experiences seriously and views sexuality as central to the mystery of human experience and to the human relationship with God. He seeks to identify what Scripture and tradition say about sexuality and focuses on sexual theology, men's issues, and biomedical ethics.