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The Sexual Person


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Table of Contents

ForewordCharles E. Curran Prologue 1. Sexual Morality in the Catholic Tradition: A Brief HistoryHistoricitySexuality and Sexual Ethics in Ancient Greece and RomeSexuality and Sexual Ethics in the Catholic TraditionReading Sacred ScriptureThe Fathers of the ChurchThe PenitentialsScholastic DoctrineThe Modern PeriodConclusion 2. Natural Law and Sexual Anthropology: Catholic Traditionalists"Nature" DefinedThe Revision of Catholic Moral TheologyNatural Law and Sexual AnthropologyTraditionalists and Sexual AnthropologyConclusion 3. Natural Law and Sexual Anthropology: Catholic RevisionistsRevisionist Critiques of Traditionalist AnthropologiesKarl Rahner: Transcendental FreedomRevisionists and Sexual AnthropologyConclusion 4. Unitive Sexual Morality: A Revised Foundational Principle and AnthropologyGaudium et Spes and a Foundational Sexual PrincipleThe Relationship between Conjugal Love and Sexual IntercourseMultiple Dimensions of Human SexualityTruly Human and ComplementarityConclusion 5. Marital MoralityMarital Intercourse and MoralityNNLT and Marital MoralityModern Catholic Thought And Marital MoralityMarital Morality and ContraceptionA Renewed Principle of Human Sexuality and ContraceptionConclusion 6. Cohabitation and the Process of MarryingCohabitation in the Contemporary WestBetrothal and the Christian TraditionComplementarity and Nuptial CohabitationConclusion 7. HomosexualityThe Bible and HomosexualityMagisterial Teaching on Homosexual Acts and RelationshipsThe Moral Sense of the Christian People and Homosexual ActsThe Morality of Homosexual Acts ReconsideredConclusion 8. Artificial Reproductive TechnologiesDefining Artificial Reproductive TechnologiesThe CDF Instruction and Artificial Reproductive TechnologiesParental Complementarity, Relational Considerations, and Social EthicsConclusion Epilogue

Promotional Information

Salzman and Lawler are accomplished theologians with the stature to confront questions that have become highly inflammatory in the too-often polarized Catholic environment. The result is a piece of extensive, well-researched, and carefully argued scholarship. The authors are respectful, intelligent, honest, thorough, and courageous. They will alarm a few people, enlighten many, and hold all to a new standard of rigor in approaching this very personal and politicized subject. -- Lisa Sowle Cahill, J. Donald Monan Professor of Theology, Boston College A carefully reasoned, nuanced, well-informed, often inspiring, and innovative book. Bound to be controversial for proposing an alternative to the primarily procreationist, traditionalist sexual anthropology in 'official' or 'tradionalist' Catholic treatments, The Sexual Person mounts a cogent and compelling account for a renewed genuinely Catholic sexual ethic, one widely informed by the social sciences. [This book] represents Catholic theological anthropology and ethics at their very best. -- John A. Coleman, SJ, Casassa Professor of Social Values, Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles This book provides the most comprehensive, critical analysis of the Catholic debate on sexual ethics over the past fifty years. Its interpersonal and experiential approach points to a thorough revision of Church teaching on birth control, reproductive technology, premarital sex, and homosexuality. -- Edward C. Vacek, SJ, professor, Department of Moral Theology, Weston Jesuit School of Theology This superb volume courageously explores Catholic teaching on sexual ethics. The authors' exploration of the biological, relational, and spiritual dimensions of human sexuality engages Catholic teaching respectfully, critically, and creatively. The book is a significant contribution to both sexual ethics and moral theology generally. -- Paul Lauritzen, director, Program in Applied Ethics, John Carroll University This book is a much needed contribution to the contemporary Catholic discussion of sexual ethics. The authors utilize the most recent sociological and psychological data to supplement their careful parsing of the Catholic theology of sex, gender, and embodiment. It is a work that manages to be highly theoretical while at the same time addressing everyday concerns about premarital sex, contraception, homosexuality, divorce and reproductive technology. Lawler and Salzman embrace the model of theology as dialogue and as a result their treatment of both traditionalist and revisionist views about human sexuality is constructive and helpful. They succeed in moving a seemingly stalled conversation forward. -- Aline Kalbian, associate professor, Department of Religion, Florida State University A bold and brave book! Tightly argued and well-documented, this book lays out an understanding of human sexuality that expresses the profound work that theologians do on behalf of the Church in order to find ever better understandings of what the Church teaches in light of the witness of Scripture, the tradition, and our understanding of human experience. -- Richard M. Gula, SS, The Franciscan School of Theology, Graduate Theological Union

About the Author

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.


Stimulating reading for theologians and graduate students. Religious Studies Review Salzman and Lawler have succeeded brilliantly in combining a rigorous historical-critical engagement of the Catholic moral tradition with a set of creative, forward-looking proposals ... Salzman and Lawler have written an engaging, well-researched book that handles extremely complicated and controversial questions in a nuanced and intellectually rigorous manner. Theological Studies The present volume is their clearest and most detailed critical inquiry into sexual anthropology to date. The dialogue that this volume should generate between the authors and the advocates of the New Natural Law Theory will be very valuable. Catholic Library World Todd Salzman and Michael Lawler's new book ... is among the most important works in Catholic sexual ethics to emerge in the last two decades ... Their book will be noticed because of its controversial positions on contraception, same-sex relationships, cohabitation and artificial means of reproduction. However, its contribution is its clear articulation of a person-centered natural-law ethic that offers Catholics an authentic way to think about sex in relation to their faith. National Catholic Reporter They cover the whole gamut of issues in sexual ethics in impressive and thoroughly scholarly detail. They are conversant with the results of a wide range of recent studies in sexual psychology; and this material is effectively integrated into a tight philosophical argument ... it is very refreshing to read such a balanced treatment, controversial but not at all combative or defensive in tone. Their conclusions are thoroughly constructive and very convincing. Overall, it is a most impressive achievement. The Way [Salzman and Lawler] move among four foci: the Catholic tradition, the school they characterize as the "New Natural Law Theory," the Revisionist school, and their own constructive synthesis. The careful critiques of the three positions are worth the price of the book but their positive reconstruction (so often missing in critical works) is equally valuable... Their work has a carefully constructed base of historical and sociological analysis as well as the requisite theology. It is well researched, carefully documented and logically argued. Horizons An unusually rich resource for a dialogue on sexual ethics among a diverse group of religious ethicists who seek more fruitfully to articulate how Christians are called to shape their sexual lives in the contemporary world. Conversations in Religion and Theology

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