Sexual Ethics and Communal Judgments: On the Pluralism of Virtues, Values, and Practices

Christian Bioethics 4 (1):3-13 (1998)
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Abstract

Different judgments by Christian communities on issues in sexual ethics involve different weightings of various sources of moral authority, different understandings of the normativity of the natural, and different assessments of the scope of freedom to be exercised in relation to the goods of marriage. These fundamental differences of interpretation can be exemplified by the ongoing Roman Catholic discussion of the legitimacy of voluntary sterilization in certain “hard cases.” The contributors to this issue of Christian Bioethics, in their spirited exchange on that issue, exemplify the need for careful attention to the ways that differences of theological emphasis and moral method lead to different judgments in particular cases, both within and between particular Christian communities.

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