Sexuality and Christian Tradition

Journal of Religious Ethics 43 (1):122-145 (2015)

Authors
David Newheiser
Australian Catholic University
Abstract
This essay aims to clarify the debate over same-sex unions by comparing it to the fourth-century conflict concerning the nature of Jesus Christ. Although some suppose that the council of Nicaea reiterated what Christians had always believed, the Nicene theology championed by Athanasius was a dramatic innovation that only won out through protracted struggle. Similarly, despite the widespread assumption that Christian tradition univocally condemns homosexuality, the concept of sexuality is a nineteenth-century invention with no exact analogue in the ancient world. Neither heterosexuality nor homosexuality is addressed directly in Christian tradition; for this reason, the significance of older authorities for the modern debate is necessarily indirect. The dichotomy between progressive and conservative positions is therefore misguided: it is necessary neither to abandon tradition for the sake of progress nor to oppose innovation for the sake of fidelity
Keywords interpretation  tradition  early Christian thought  sexuality  homosexuality  marriage
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DOI 10.1111/jore.12088
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References found in this work BETA

Gentiles and Homosexuals: A Brief History of an Analogy.John Perry - 2010 - Journal of Religious Ethics 38 (2):321-347.

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Natural Law and the “Sin Against Nature”.Sean Larsen - 2015 - Journal of Religious Ethics 43 (4):629-673.

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