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Sexual Diversity and Catholicism: Toward the Development of Moral Theology

by Patricia Beattie Jung, Joseph Andrew Coray

Buy the book: Patricia Beattie Jung. Sexual Diversity and Catholicism: Toward the Development of Moral Theology

Release Date: May, 2001

Edition: Paperback

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Buy the book: Patricia Beattie Jung. Sexual Diversity and Catholicism: Toward the Development of Moral Theology


Excellent book on topics that need to be discussed

Few topics are more controversial in the Catholic Church today--and indeed, in many other churches--than homosexuality. Unfortunately, the usual response to such controversy is to avoid discussing the topic in question, either by simply and nervously refusing to address it, or by using authority to squelch presentation of anything other than the "official" position (which all too often is the product of simplification or misunderstanding).

Jung and Coray are doing the Catholic Church, and wider society, a great service by attempting to open up theological discussion on the Church's teachings of homosexuality and human sexuality in general. The authors make the argument that Catholic teachings must not rely only on one particular reading of Scripture and tradition. Instead, the teachings must also take into account historical context of the times in which Scripture was written, current knowledge of the biological and social sciences, and life experiences that witness to the way God's Spirit is present in people's sexuality today. Jung and Coray and the other contributors to this book--most of whom are theologians associated with Chicago's Loyola University--thus provide a wide range of perspectives and much food for thought around the challenging topics addressed.

As a gay man raised in the Catholic tradition, this reviewer has had cause to question the Church's current teachings on human sexuality--for example, that marital sexual intercourse must always be open to the possibility of procreation, or that while a homosexual sexual orientation is not sinful, for two persons of the same sex to express love through sexual intimacy is sinful. Many of the authors in this collection raise similar questions about these teachings. The conclusion drawn by most of the essayists is that while there is certainly much truth and beauty to be found in the Church's sexual teachings, those teachings are at present based on an incomplete and sometimes inaccurate understanding of the full range of human experience.

One sincerely hopes that "Sexual Diversity and Catholicism" will be widely read and discussed among not just Catholics but anyone hoping to gain a better understanding of the many and diverse ways God's love is expressed through the beautiful gift of human sexuality.

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