For a balanced discussion of the main social, medical, and philosophical aspects of homosexuality, here is the ideal book. Written by philosophers of science, each comprehensive chapter takes a critical look at research on the etiology of homosexuality. Read Philosophy and Homosexuality and examine the evidence for both the sociobiological and hormonal explanations of homosexuality and study the definitions of sexual orientation and how they have affected research.
The present research paper approaches homosexuality from a Foucauldian perspective. Foucault's place and standing in a postmodern historical and cultural context will be explained. The paper outlines how homosexuality has been historically constructed and socially constituted. How sexuality became understood as a particular form of discourse, that is as a science, will be explored particularly with regard to the strategic use of confession as a producer of knowledge. I will present how homosexuality, as a medicalized, ontological identity (...) was implanted in bodies and an entire pathological population was created. To reverse an excessive medicalized discourse of homosexuality, Foucault's prescription of moving to the care of self and predicating sexuality on the pleasure of bodies as opposed to scientific or clinical ideology will be discussed. Such critical analysis facilitates new imaginative spaces that can enable educators to engage in meaningful and informed dialogue around the various discourses surrounding homosexuality in a postmodern historical and cultural context. (shrink)
Jamake Highwater is a master storyteller and one of our most visionary writers, hailed as "an eloquent bard, whose words are fire and glory" (Studs Terkel) and "a writer of exceptional vision and power" (Ana"is Nin). Author of more than thirty volumes of nonfiction, fiction, and poetry, Highwater--considered by many to be the intellectual heir of Joseph Campbell--has long been intrigued by how our mythological legacies have served as a foundation of modern civilization. Now, in The Mythology of Transgression, he (...) uses his remarkable narrative powers to offer a personal and extraordinarily far-ranging examination of how people who stand outside of society--by dint of their sexual orientation, physical appearance, ideas, artistic inclinations, or ethnic heritage--often achieve lasting, even profound influence upon the culture at large. Drawing from a stunningly rich variety of sources ranging from the arts and literature to biology, physics, psychology, and anthropology, Highwater looks at his own outsider status--as a gay man, an artist, and an orphaned Native American--in an attempt to explore how mythologies from ancient times to the present have shaped the ways we think about social "abnormality" and alienation. Throughout, he points to a paradox at the center of Western values--the competing notions that the outsider is at once sinful and wise, that in everyday life the transgressor is ostracized, while in our most durable folklore and religious legends, heroes must break the rules to achieve greatness. Focusing in particular on homosexuality as a modern metaphor of transgression, Highwater brilliantly mixes personal anecdotes with wide ranging research, leading us on a tour through the history of social conformity and rejection, citing examples that span from Judeo-Christian-Islamic doctrines of good and evil, to the Navajo Nation's ambivalence toward the nature of sexuality, to Carson McCullers's treatment of physical deformity in the novella Member of the Wedding, to Descartes's theories of dualism. He also pays special attention to the debates currently raging in science regarding the biology of homosexuality and provides an engaging discussion of why we are motivated to seek a genetic basis of sexual orientation in the first place. Jamake Highwater has long been celebrated as a writer uniquely suited to give voice to the social outsider. Often provocative, always fascinating, The Mythology of Transgression is a tour de force of eloquent scholarship, a book that will prompt discussion and debate on the subject for years to come. (shrink)
Pregnant women and persons engaging in homosexual practices compose two groups that have been and still are amongst those most severely subjected to coercive restrictions regarding their own bodies. From an historical point of view, it is a recent and rare phenomenon that a woman’s right to abortion and a person’s right to engage in homosexual interactions are recognized. Although most Western liberal states currently do recognize these rights, they are under continuous assault from various political and religious movements. Moreover, (...) though liberal theories of justice typically defend women’s rights to abortion and people’s rights to homosexual activity, these theories often struggle to capture the fundamental ground for these rights. For example, it appears hard for the liberal to say why and when only the woman and not the embryo/fetus has rights and why the right to certain sexual practices is not on par with rights to other preferences. Contemporary liberal theories of justice, therefore, have a hard time identifying what distinguishes questions of abortion and sexual activities from other questions of right and thereby also have difficulty capturing the gravity of the wrongdoing involved in coercively restricting homosexual interactions and abortion as such. I argue that Kant’s theory of justice succeeds on both counts, because it can locate the fundamental ground for these rights in an understanding of the bodily integrity of the person. Just states will neither permit nor outlaw all abortions or sexual interactions, but rather will require all such laws to be reconcilable with the protection of each person’s right to freedom. (shrink)
This volume is an indispensable reference for a wide range of scholars working across multidisciplinary fields of inquiry that focus on British and continental histories of medicine and sexuality, gender history and studies of nineteenth ...
Abstract. Scientists have long puzzled over how homosexual orientation has evolved, given the assumed low relative fitness of homosexual individuals compared to heterosexual individuals. A number of theoretical models for the evolution of homosexuality have been postulated including balance polymorphism, "Fertile females", hypervariability of DNA sequences, kin selection, and "parental manipulation". In this paper, I propose a new group-selection model for the evolution of homosexuality which offers two advantages over existing models: (1) its non-assumption of genetic determinism, and (...) (2) its lack of dependency on an inefficient altruism relation and family dynamics theory. (shrink)
I argue on utilitarian grounds that while traditional constraints on heterosexual activity, including the prohibition of pre-marital sex and divorce may be justified by appeal to purely secular principles, no comparable prohibitions are justified as regards homosexual activity. Homosexuality is in this respect.
At first sight, homosexuality has little to do with reproduction. Nevertheless, many neo-Darwinian theoreticians think that human homosexuality may have had a procreative value, since it enabled the close kin of homosexuals to have more viable offspring than individuals lacking the support of homosexual siblings. In this article, however, we will defend an alternative hypothesis - originally put forward by Freud in "A phylogenetic phantasy" - namely that homosexuality evolved as a means to strengthen social bonds. Consequently, (...) from an evolutionary point of view, homosexuality and heterosexuality have entirely distinct origins: there is no continuum from heterosexuality to homosexuality. Indeed, the natural history we propose shows that the intensity of the homosexual inclination has little or no predictive value with regard to the intensity of heterosexual tendencies. In fact, this may be a sound Darwinian way to understand sexual ambivalence. But if sexual ambivalence is a biological datum, one has to conclude that psychodynamic mechanisms are often needed in order to explain exclusive heterosexuality or exclusive homosexuality. (shrink)
Examining the language and paradigms of science as rhetorical, that is, arising from the sociocultural forces that shape ideology, reveals androcentric assumptions that tend to thwart democratic public policy as well as effective methodology. This paper applies some recent feminist critiques of the biological sciences to the current research on the possible hormonal and genetic factors contributing to homosexuality, clarifying how this research perpetuates hierarchical binaries and suggesting ways to reconceptualize human sexuality through revised research protocols.
This paper examines the argument that moral approval of homosexuality is analogous to the early church's inclusion of gentiles. The analogy has a long but often overlooked history, dating back to the start of the modern gay-rights movement. It has recently gained greater prominence because of its importance to the Episcopal Church's debate with the wider Anglican Communion. Beginning with the Episcopal Church argument, we see that there are five specific areas most in need of further clarification. In this (...) essay I examine significant uses of the analogy from the prior 25 years to see how effectively they address these five areas. I conclude that the conversation surrounding the Gentile Analogy is the current, best hope for mutual understanding among Christians about homosexuality. However, if the analogy is to advance the Christian conversation, much greater care and precision is needed in its application from traditionalists and revisionists alike. (shrink)
We compare astronomers' removal of Pluto from the listing of planets and psychiatrists' removal of homosexuality from the listing of mental disorders. Although the political maneuverings that emerged in both controversies are less than scientifically ideal, we argue that competition for "scientific authority" among competing groups is a normal part of scientific progress. In both cases, a complicated relationship between abstract constructs and evidence made the classification problem thorny.
The argument presented here explores homosexuality within the context of applied Christian ethics. The argument works by asking students to grapple with and define the common characteristics of all eros relationships. Once the students analytically break down eros relationships, and wrestle with defining concepts such as “love,” “sex,” and “desires,” basic biblical moral precepts are applied. After this biblical application it can be shown that there is latitude enough in Christian morality to openly permit homosexuality that iscompatible with (...) biblically stated ethical dictums. The argument is pedagogical in nature, and is a challenging, engaging, and accessible argument that avoids the educational pitfalls that entangle other arguments of this nature. (shrink)
This paper considers the question of whether the explanation of homosexual orientation offered by Sigmund Freud qualifies as a genuine explanation, judged by the criteria of the social sciences. It is argued that the explanation, namely that homosexual orientation is a function of atypical parental influences, is indeed an explanation of the kind found in the social sciences. Nevertheless, it is concluded that to date Freud's hypotheses about homosexuality are no more than unproven speculations. Also considered is the question (...) of whether the very topic of homosexuality falls or ought to fall within the domain of medical inquiry. CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this? (shrink)
Abstract Should schools teach about homosexuality and heterosexuality, and if so how? This paper outlines arguments both in favour of, and against, such teaching and concludes that, on balance, schools of 11?16/18?years?olds should teach about sexual orientation provided certain specified conditions are met. The author then defends the notion that to teach about sexual orientation is to teach about a controversial issue, but notes that few, if any, of the published approaches to teaching in this area treat it as (...) such. He goes on to examine both the specific aims and possible approaches to teaching about homosexuality and heterosexuality. Good teaching in this area should enable 14?16?year?old students to become better informed about people's sexual orientations; it should help them better to understand each other's positions; and it should allow them to clarify their own values and attitudes. (shrink)
One strand of the church's conversation about homosexuality compares present-day acceptance of homosexuals to the church's acceptance of Gentiles in Acts 15. In a previous article, “Gentiles and Homosexuals,” I presented the history of that strand. In a reply to my article, Olson proposes to reimagine the analogy via the “radical new perspective on Paul” and argues that doing so exposes problems with my original analysis. I defend myself against these criticisms, while also entering into the spirit of Olson's (...) reimagined analogy. Expanding the scope beyond Acts to Paul opens up important facets that might otherwise be obscured. In particular, it includes voices that are sometimes silenced, and presses both sides for an account of sexuality grounded in vocation and God's purposes in creation. (shrink)
In response to powerful criticisms of older arguments, contemporary defenders of the Church’s traditional stance on homosexuality have fashioned a new kind of argument based upon the special relationship God created between the sexes. In this paper we examine two recent incarnations of this kind of argument and show that both fail to demonstrate the inherent immorality of homosexual relationships, and at most demonstrate that homosexual relationships are inferior to heterosexual relationships in certain respects. At the end of the (...) paper we argue that a good God would have reason to make a certain proportion of humanity homosexual in order to unmask sexist myths. In this way homosexuality could itself strengthen, rather than weaken, the special relationship God created between the sexes. (shrink)
The ideological interface between Muslims and liberal educators undoubtedly is strained in the realm of sex education, and perhaps on no topic more so than homosexuality. Mark Halstead argues that schools should not try to ?undermine the faith? of Muslims, who object to teaching homosexuality as an ?acceptable alternative lifestyle?. In this article, I will argue against his monolithic presentation of Islam. Furthermore, I will argue that because Halstead presents a narrow view of Islam he is neglectful of (...) gay and lesbian Muslims who are particularly vulnerable to the unrepentant hostilities of their own communities, and he limits the options available to sex educators in such a way as to discourage genuine encounters between homosexuals and Muslims. (shrink)
The release of the Vatican instruction on homosexuality in the priesthood and Catholic seminaries poses several challenging ethical issues for the psychologists who conduct psychological screening evaluations for those men interested in religious life as Catholic priests. This brief article reviews some of the key ethical issues associated with these evaluations in light of the new Vatican instruction on homosexuality. The RRICC model based on the American Psychological Association's Code of Ethics (i.e., responsibility, respect, integrity, competence, and concern) (...) is used to highlight some of the ethical challenges for psychologist evaluators. (shrink)
With the increasingly heard voices of gays, lesbians and bisexuals in American society and their demands for recognition have come the responses of religious conservatives. In this article I consider whether the extreme moral positions that religious conservatives take are defensible. More specifically, I want to consider whether teachers who embrace such conservative positions should be permitted to act on them in their classrooms. My arguments lead me to distinguish between moral democratic and moralistic positions. The former I examine using (...) the virtue of recognition and the principle of non-oppression. I conclude that democracy requires the positive portrayal of homosexuality in schools and precludes teachers expressing their beliefs against it. (shrink)
McGavin, PA The Holy Father often speaks without a prepared text, and it is amazing how accurately he reads in transcription. This was brilliantly so in Light of the World interviews. Even his brief words at pages 118-119 on condoms - so breathlessly and inaccurately treated in the media - are so cast as to withstand close scrutiny. It is with this recognition that I address his lack of precision and perception in speaking on the question of homosexuality and (...) sacred ordination. (shrink)
Using an analogy between moths and men, in 1916, Richard Goldschmidt proposed that homosexuality was a case of genetic intersexuality. As he strove to create a unified theory of sex determination that would encompass animals ranging from moths to men, Goldschmidt's doubts grew concerning the association of homosexuality with intersexuality until, in 1931, he dropped homosexuality from his theory of intersexuality. Despite Goldschmidt's explicit rejection of his theory of homosexuality, Theo Lang, a researcher in the Genealogical-Demographic (...) Department of the Institute for Psychiatric Research in Munich, revived it, maintained Goldschmidt's association with it, and argued on its behalf in publications from 1936 to 1960. Lang's appropriation of Goldschmidt's theory did not depend on his resolution of the difficulties Goldschmidt had found with his own theory. Lang and Goldschmidt, I argue, had fundamentally different scientific and social commitments that allowed one to reject this theory of homosexuality and the other to accept it. (shrink)
This paper analyzes the criminalization and medicalization of homosexuality during the early twentieth century in Canada. Through court records and medical texts the discourse of homosexuality as a threat to the family unit and to the nation is contextualized within Cold War rhetoric. A Foucaultian conceptualization of power and discipline helps frame questions regarding homosexuality as a criminal offense and as a mental illness. It is argued that both state control and societal pressures constructed the homosexual as (...) criminal, the homosexual as mental patient and, as a result, the homosexual as Communist threat. (shrink)
The perception of the Weimar Republic as the high-point of ‘classical modernity’ in which all areas of society were permeated by a fatal sense of crisis has been revised as an explanatory model in recent historiography. Historians have returned to this period with a new sense of the openness of the crisis environment, particularly in areas of social and cultural history. Male homosexuality emerged as a central theme of Weimar social and cultural crisis as it became possible for homosexual (...) men to imagine an identity and a ‘life’ for the first time. These men began to understand their lives as a continuum in terms of their sexuality and to express their lives in writing. The discourse of masculinist homosexuality, which emerged during the first decades of the 20th century, was used by some homosexuals as a means to self-identification and self-validation in the open environment of post-war early Weimar. However, this speculative framework of masculine comradeship and warrior ethos became less and less tenable as the internal contradictions as well as the socio-political pressures of the Republic increased. The paper explores the internal tensions between homosexuality and masculinist identity in two literary works from the Weimar Republic, Max René Hesse’s Partenau and Thomas Mann’s ‘Mario and the Magician’. (shrink)
Teaching about homosexuality, especially in a positive light, has long been held to be a controversial issue. There is, however, a view of the capacity for reason that finds that those who deem homosexuality to be controversial will ultimately contradict themselves, becoming unreasonable. By this standard of reason, homosexuality should be treated as non controversial in schools. In this essay, John Petrovic argues that this epistemic position is problematic. Instead, he defends a Deweyan epistemology that casts reason (...) as, in part, a set of socially acquired habits of mind. People who have been socialized into heterosexist habits of mind must be exposed to counterhegemonic discourses. One such discourse can be found in the public values of liberal democracy through which the practice of reason must be pursued. Petrovic discusses the practical guidance provided by assuming a view of normative reason versus habituated reason in terms of both pedagogy and curriculum. (shrink)
Science and Homosexualities is the first anthology by historians of science to examine European and American scientific research on sexual orientation since the coining of the word "homosexual" almost 150 years ago. This collection is particularly timely given the enormous scientific and popular interest in biological studies of homosexuality, and the importance given such studies in current legal, legislative and cultural debates concerning gay civil rights. However, scientific and popular literature discussing the biology of sexual orientation have been short-sighted (...) in representing it as objective, new scientific work. This volume demonstrates that the quest for the biological "cause" of homosexuality and other sexualities is as old as the term itself. These essays explore the active role experimental subjects played in shaping scientific theories of homosexuality and cultural perceptions of sexuality and sexual identity. Finally this anthology studies the way in which this doctor-patient interaction shaped not only scientific theories of homosexuality, but also cultural perceptions and self-identities as well. Contributors include: Garland E. Allen, Erin G. Carlston, Julian Carter, Alice D. Dreger, Anne Fausto-Sterling, Margaret Gibson, Stephanie Kenen, Hubert Kennedy, Harry Oosterhuis, James Steakley, Richard Pillard, Jennifer Terry. (shrink)
Given the resurgence of scientific studies on the etiology of homosexuality in the wake of the AIDS epidemic, this article considers the effects these studies had on contemporaneous queer filmmakers. By using the subject of criminality as a way to talk about homosexual causality, queer films of the 1990s illustrate that contemporary scientific studies on homosexuality were historically and politically situated in relation to cultural anxieties about other forms of deviance. This article focuses on films that dissect the (...) hetero-normative tendency to amalgamate forms of deviance in order to distinguish between the diseased and the healthy. Such products of New Queer Cinema highlight this amalgamation of criminality and homosexuality in order to challenge demands by the LGBT community of the 1980s and 1990s for “more positive images” in film. This article argues that queer filmmakers have manipulated the image of the queer criminal to usurp the medical tendency to biologize and pathologize the notion of queer transgression. In such a way, queer films that enthusiastically dramatize the queer outlaw perpetuate myths about homosexuality in order to dissect and discredit them. (shrink)
Professor Mark A. Yarhouse proposes an ‘identity synthesis’ model of sexual modification therapy for homosexuals. This model is meant primarily to target the process by which one's sexual identity is synthesized, rather than the changing of sexual orientation itself. I highlight some of the advantages of Yarhouse's model along with some of its potential pitfalls. My primary point of departure with Yarhouse concerns how one ought to direct those selfidentified homosexual clients who fall within our clinical sphere of influence and (...) who, in the end, contrary to our better judgment, decide that they would like to pursue a course of “homosexualization.” Based on the “autonomy”- emphasizing aspects of the identity synthesis model, it appears that Yarhouse is willing to sanction the referral of certain clients to “therapists” who are willing to facilitate these clients' homosexualization. I do not believe that Christians involved in the care of homosexuals can licitly participate in such referrals. (shrink)
Revisionists and traditionalists appeal to Acts 15, welcoming the Gentiles, for analogies directing the church's response to homosexual persons. John Perry has analyzed the major positions. He faults revisionists for inadequate attention to the Jerusalem Decree and faults one traditionalist for using the Decree literally rather than through analogy. I argue that analogical use of the Decree must supplement rather than displace the plain sense. The Decree has been neglected due to assumptions that Paul opposed it, that it expired, or (...) because Gentiles wanted non-kosher meat. I argue that Paul continued to observe the Torah and supported the Decree, that it has not expired, and that Gentile desire for non-kosher meat is not a firm obstacle. Affirming the plain sense of the Decree, I develop the analogy from Acts 15 to homosexual persons. (shrink)
After stating "I am gay" Navy Lieutenant Paul G. Thomasson was honorably discharged from the military. In Thomasson v. Perry (1996), the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth District affirmed Thomasson's discharge. Thomasson is now considered the leading case evaluating the U.S. military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy. In this paper, I show that the court's analysis of the Department of Defense policy rests of two unarticulated and undefended assumptions about sexuality. The first is that an act of (...) sex is essentially defined in terms of the sexual orientation of the persons engaging in that act. The second is that whether or not a person is an open homosexual determines the essential nature of the homosexual acts of others. I conclude that both assumptions are untenable, therefore the "don't ask, don't tell" policy is indefensible. (shrink)
That a homosexual -- man or woman -- is neither a sinner nor a sick person is the thesis of this paper by an authority on sexual deviation. Therefore, such a man or woman neither needs penance and pardon nor cure in the medical sense. Nevertheless such individuals sometimes need the help of doctors and must be treated with understanding. The medical profession also has, in the view of the behaviourist school of psychiatrists, of which Dr Bancroft is a member, (...) the duty of influencing social attitudes towards homosexuals. Obviously homosexuals who come into conflict with the law are special cases, and must be treated as such but this is not 'medical' treatment so much as social control even if drugs and other forms of therapy are used. (shrink)
Many Protestant denominations have or recently had policies that prohibit “self-avowed practicing homosexuals” from being ordained. By only prohibiting “practicing” homosexuals, proponents of these policies claim that they do not discriminate against homosexuals as a group since, technically, a homosexual can still be ordained as long as she is “non-practicing.” In other words, a condemnation of homosexual practice is not the same as a condemnation of homosexual persons. I argue that this is not the case; the rhetoric of homosexual practice (...) does, in fact, amount to a condemnation of gays and lesbians. It does so by conflating the two things it claims to keep separate—homosexual conduct and homosexual identity. I demonstrate this conflation by analyzing the history of this rhetoric and how it has been adjudicated in church court decisions from the United Methodist Church and the Presbyterian Church (USA). (shrink)
In Barclay's Bank v. O'Brien(1993) the House of Lords extended the undue influence rules to heterosexual and homosexual cohabitees, a move that was widely welcomed and has been endorsed in Royal Bank of Scotland v. Etridge (No. 2) (2001). The paper argues that the extension to homosexual couples is inappropriate, since undue influence is largely a problem of heterosexuality. It is not accidental that there have been no reported cases of undue influence between lesbian or gay partners, not because abuses (...) of power do not occur within such relationships, but because they are free of the central causal factor of undue influence: not intimacy per se but the gendered power dynamic within heterosexual intimacy that has characterised almost all reported cases. The first part of the paper examines the courts' treatment of gay and lesbian couples in other areas of equity and concludes that the absence of gender role assumptions leads courts to treat lesbian and gay claimants more equitably than they do heterosexual women. The second part focuses on the potential for gay and, especially, lesbian relationships to act as models of more egalitarian relationships than heterosexual ones. The dominant discourse of inclusion within the gay and lesbian legal lobby is problematised, and the paper concludes that what is needed is social and judicial recognition of what is different, not what is the same, about our relationships. (shrink)
In some of his more obscure works, Michel Foucault characterises homosexual culture as being connected with an interesting practice of friendship. Since homosexual relationships cannot be derived from existing norms, they are inherently underdetermined, and this means that homosexual culture provides a space for the creation of new types of relationship. Inspired by this practice of social experimentation, Foucault puts forward a concept of friendship based on the collaborative creation of new relationships in marginal spaces. I argue that putting this (...) concept of friendship into practice entails social activism in two ways: first, the creation of new relationships in marginal spaces constitutes a form of localised resistance to social normalisation, and second, because experimentation with relationships presents a challenge to the excessive normalisation of relationships on a societal scale. Friendship, for Foucault, is therefore a resource for both local resistance and large-scale social change. I also argue that Foucault's work on gay culture deserves more scholarly attention because it provides a supplement to his interpretation of the Enlightenment and forges a link between friendship and the aesthetics of existence. (shrink)
Reclaiming the center of faith involves taking a critical look at both sides of the debate over same-sex unions and the ordination of homosexuals. The time has come to move beyond the nature-nurture debate and address the larger question of how Christians can rise above the sexual chaos of our age through sexual discipline and protection of the vulnerable.
In recent years, the Netherlands, Belgium, Canada, and Spain have recognized marriages between people of the same sex. Several other countries recognize civil unions with similar legal effect. An even wider range of countries have laws against discrimination on the basis of a personâ€™s sexual orientation, in areas like housing and employment. Yet in the worldâ€™s largest democracy, India, sex between two men remains a crime punishable, according to statute, by imprisonment for life.
Abstract: This essay explores recent trends and major issues related to gay and lesbian philosophy in ethics (including issues concerning the morality of homosexuality, the natural function of sex, and outing and coming out); religion (covering past and present debates about the status of homosexuality and how biblical and qur'anic passages have been interpreted by both sides of the debate); the law (especially a discussion of the debates surrounding sodomy laws, same-sex marriage and its impact on transsexuals, and (...) whether the law should be used to enforce morality); scientific research into the origins of homosexuality (including discussion of arguments against such research); and metaphysics (especially the question of whether homosexuality is socially constructed during particular times and in particular cultures, or whether sexual orientation is an essential trait cutting across times and cultures). (shrink)
This essay brings to bear insights from continental philosophers Michel Foucault and Judith Butler on the science of (homo)sexuality and, more importantly, the desire to use such science to resolve contemporary conflicts over homosexuality’s acceptability. So-called queer science remains deeply beholden to modern notions of sex, gender, and sexuality, the author argues, a schematic that its premodern (Christian) roots further denaturalize. The philosophical insights drawn from this analysis are then applied to the controversy over homosexuality within global Christianity (...) that often pits the backward former colonies against the modern west. (shrink)
Although modern societies have come to recognize diversity in human sexuality as simply part of nature, many Christian communities and thinkers still have considerable difficulties with related developments in politics, legislation, and science. In fact, homosexuality is a recurrent topic in the transdisciplinary encounter between Christianity and the sciences, an encounter that is otherwise rather “asexual.” I propose that the recent emergence of “Christianity and Science” as an academic field in its own right is an important part of the (...) larger context of the difficulties related to attempts to reconcile Christianity and a recognition of diversity in human sexuality as a norm. Through a critical discussion of arguments which are upheld most disturbingly on a global scale by the Roman Catholic Church and supported with much sophistry by important stakeholders of an influential stream in analytic philosophy of religion, this paper aims to contextualize and defend the legitimacy of the question why God would create homosexuals as such if it is true that every homosexual act is prohibited by God. While recently advanced nonheterosexist scientific models of sexuality in nature inform the discussion, I reject the simplistic view that religions suppress and the sciences liberate in matters sexual. (shrink)