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New Directions in Sexual Ethics

Moral Theology and the Challenge of AIDS

Kevin T. Kelly, Geoffrey Chapman, 1998.

Contents

Introduction viii
1. Hearing the Challenge of the AIDS Pandemic: a Moral Theologian Tells His Story 1
Women and HIV/AIDS 4
The ‘Pro-Women’ Challenge to the Church and to Christian Sexual Ethics 8
Widening the Agenda: the Need for a Renewed Sexual 11
Ethics Listening to Experience 13
2. New Directions? Why Do We Need ‘New Directions’ in Sexual Ethics? 22
A Process in which Change Is Transforming rather than Deforming 24
Understanding Ourselves as Historical, Social and Cultural Persons 27
Social Construction and Natural Law 29
The Challenge of Gender Analysis 34
3. Christian Sexual Ethics and Injustice against Women – a Case of Collusion?
-The Roots of Injustice against Women Lie Deep in History
40
A Sign of Hope: the ‘Pro-Women’ Teaching of Pope John Paul II 46
The Pope and Gender: How Complimentary to Women Is Ontological Complementarity? 50
The Experience of Women 54
Collusion with Injustice against Women? 58
4. Sexual Ethics — Denying the Good News to Gay Men and Lesbian Women?
-The Link between Patriarchy and Homophobia
64
The Dissimilarity of Lesbian and Gay Experience 65
A Disturbing Question: Does the Christian Stance on Homosexuality Help to Spread HIV/AIDS? 66
Learning from Experience 68
Finding the Appropriate Theological Language for the Experience of Gays and Lesbians 72
-1. The language of ‘natural’ and ‘unnatural’ 72
-2. The language of God’s word in the Bible 74
Towards a Gay and Lesbian Theology and Spirituality: Woundedness and Healing 79
A ‘Time of AIDS’ – a Time for Positive Living and Positive Thinking 88
The Gospel as ‘Good News’ for Gays and Lesbians 91
5. What the Churches Are Saying
-Church Statements: Listening to an Ongoing Conversation
96
The Conversation Begins: Birth Control – Disagreeing about the Relevance of the Human Context for Moral Evaluation 99
Widening the Agenda of the Conversation: Giving More Importance to Relationship – a Quaker View of Sex 109
Marriage Breakdown: a Church of England Contribution 113
A Roman Catholic Contribution – Vatican II 115
The Joy of Married Sexual Love: a Methodist Contribution 116
Two Contributions about Homosexual Relationships 118
-1. The Church of England 119
-2. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America 121
The Church of England and Cohabitation: Introducing ‘Diversity of Lifestyle’ as a New Topic in the Conversation 123
Two Contributions Drawing Together the Many Threads of the Conversation 127
.-1. The Church of Scotland 127
-2. The Presbyterian Church (USA) 130
Conclusion 134
6. Towards a Sexual Ethics in a Time of AIDS 137
Some Foundational Beliefs for a Christian Sexual Ethics for Today
1. The Full and Equal Dignity of Women 139
2. Human Freedom 141
3. Friendship, Intimacy and Love 146
4. The Goodness of the Human Body, Sexuality and Sensual Joy 153
5. The Giftedness of Human Life 162
6. The Uniqueness of the Human Person and Respect for Personal Conscience 168
–1. To your own self be true 169
–2. Respect for conscience 171
–3. The uniqueness of each person’s story of moral growth 174
7. Sexuality and Sin
Sex Is Not Sinful: It Is a Gift of God
177
Patriarchy as Sexual Sin – and the Sexual Sin of Collusion in Patriarchy 178
‘Doing the Best One Can’ in Sexual Ethics 181
Sexual Sin and Sexual Sins 183
Is It Right to Engage in Casual and Uncommitted Sex? 184
8. Living Positively in a Time of AIDS
Living Positively with AIDS: a Lesson from Uganda
188
Is the Church Living Positively with AIDS? Yes, but. . . 192
-1. Compulsory HIV testing of candidates for the priesthood or the religious life? 194
-2. Condom use and HIV prevention 196
Epilogue: A Time of AIDS — a Time of Grace?
A Time of AIDS’
207
A Time of Grace: AIDS – a Window of Opportunity for Our Global Society? 210
Bibliography 214