The Sexual Person: Toward a Renewed Catholic Anthropology
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About this Item
Title: The Sexual Person: Toward a Renewed Catholic...
Publisher: Georgetown University
Publication Date: 2008
About this title
Two principles capture the essence of the official Catholic position on the morality of sexuality: first, that any human genital act must occur within the framework of heterosexual marriage; second, each and every marriage act must remain open to the transmission of life. In this comprehensive overview of Catholicism and sexuality, theologians Todd A. Salzman and Michael G. Lawler examine and challenge these principles. Remaining firmly within the Catholic tradition, they contend that the church is being inconsistent in its teaching by adopting a dynamic, historically conscious anthropology and worldview on social ethics and the interpretation of scripture while adopting a static, classicist anthropology and worldview on sexual ethics.
While some documents from Vatican II, like Gaudium et spes ("the marital act promotes self-giving by which spouses enrich each other"), gave hope for a renewed understanding of sexuality, the church has not carried out the full implications of this approach. In short, say Salzman and Lawler: emphasize relationships, not acts, and recognize Christianity's historically and culturally conditioned understanding of human sexuality. The Sexual Person draws historically, methodologically, and anthropologically from the best of Catholic tradition and provides a context for current theological debates between traditionalists and revisionists regarding marriage, cohabitation, homosexuality, reproductive technologies, and what it means to be human. This daring and potentially revolutionary book will be sure to provoke constructive dialogue among theologians, and between theologians and the Magisterium.
Todd A. Salzman is a professor of Catholic theology and chair of the Department of Theology at Creighton University. He is the coeditor of Marriage in the Catholic Tradition: Scripture, Tradition, and Experience and author of What Are They Saying about Roman Catholic Ethical Method?
Michael G. Lawler is professor emeritus of Catholic theology at Creighton University. He is the author of What Is and What Ought to Be: The Dialectic of Experience, Theology, and Church and Marriage and the Catholic Church: Disputed Questions.
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