The publication in 1957 of the Wolfenden Report occasioned a celebrated controversy in which profound theoretical issues concerning the relation between law and morality, and the legal enforcement of morality were discussed. The principal disputants were Lord Justice Devlin and Professor H. L. A. Hart. It is by now well known that the main recommendation of the Wolfenden Report was the reform of the criminal law so that homosexual behaviour in private between consenting male adults should no longer be a (...) criminal offence. As homosexual behaviour in Christendom was at the outset punishable in the ecclesiastical courts, and subsequently, with the demise of the ecclesiastical courts, in the secular courts, the Wolfenden recommendation on homosexuality marked a major departure from the prevailing state of affairs in which the precepts of Christian morality, especially relating to sexual morals, were at first enforced by the ecclesiastical courts, and then by the secular courts. (shrink)
In this article I propose to discuss some recent theological contributions to the problem of the historicity of the Gospels, and I wish to suggest that philosophical issues may ultimately be relevant to its solution.