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The Sexual Person

Toward a Renewed Catholic Anthropology

Publication Year: 2008

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 tran

Published by: Georgetown University Press

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. xi-xvi

THE AUTHORS OF THIS BOOK, Todd A. Salzman and Michael G. Lawler, write as Catholic theologians who both are married and are very familiar with the Catholic tradition. The book accepts the classical understanding of faith and reason, recognizing especially the importance of human reason in developing sexual marital morality. The authors ground their understanding of sexuality in a more personalistic and...

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pp. xvii

NO AUTHOR WRITES A BOOK in isolation; he is subject to multiple influences. We are happy to confess that we are no exception to that rule, and we freely express our gratitude to all those teachers, colleagues, students, and friends with whom we have had a dialogue over the years, and from whom we have learned what human sexuality means in the Catholic tradition. Because we cannot name all of them, it...

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pp. 1-5

TWO MAGISTERIAL PRINCIPLES capture the essence of the Catholic moral, sexual tradition. The first principle comes from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith: ‘‘Any human genital act whatsoever may be placed only within the framework of marriage.’’ The second received its modern articulation in Pope Paul VI’s Humanae vitae: ‘‘Each and every marriage act must remain open to the transmission...

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1. Sexual Morality in the Catholic Tradition: A Brief History

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pp. 6-47

HUMAN SEXUAL ACTIVITY and the sexual ethics that seeks to order it are both sociohistorical realities and are, therefore, subject to historicity, the quality of the human animal that follows inevitably from his and her situation in real time and space and ‘‘provides him with a [human] world that he must accept in freedom.’’ Before we embark on a presentation of contemporary Catholic sexual anthropology...

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2. Natural Law and Sexual Anthropology: Catholic Traditionalists

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pp. 48-92

‘‘TRADITIONALIST’’ is the general label given to moral theologians who support and defend absolute magisterial norms prohibiting certain types of sexual acts such as premarital sex, artificial birth control, artificial reproductive technologies, masturbation, and homosexual acts. The traditionalist school is contrasted with the revisionist school. ‘‘Revisionist’’ is the general label given to moral theologians who...

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3. Natural Law and Sexual Anthropology: Catholic Revisionists

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pp. 93-123

CATHOLIC TRADITIONALIST sexual anthropology emphasizes classicism, the universality of basic goods and human ‘‘nature,’’ absolute norms, and an act-centered morality. Catholic revisionist sexual anthropology emphasizes historical consciousness, the particularity of basic goods and the human person, norms that reflect this particularity, and a relational-centered morality. In this chapter, we...

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4. Unitive Sexual Morality: A Revised Foundational Principle and Anthropology

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pp. 124-161

THEOLOGIANS WHO ESPOUSE the Gaudium et spes tradition find in the document a foundational principle for judging all human activity, including human sexual activity, namely, the criterion of the human person adequately considered. A reasonable question immediately arises: What does it mean to consider the human sexual person adequately in order to respond to complex moral issues surrounding...

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5. Marital Morality

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pp. 162-191

IN THE PREVIOUS CHAPTER we advanced a theoretical foundational principle for making judgments about the morality of sexual actions. This principle was articulated as follows: Sexual actions within marriage by which a couple is united intimately and chastely are noble and worthy. If expressed in a manner that is truly human and justly loving, these actions signify and promote that mutual self-giving...

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6. Cohabitation and the Process of Marrying

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pp. 192-213

EMMANUEL NTAKARUTIMANA EXPRESSES the Central African experience of marrying in the following words. ‘‘Where Western tradition presents marriage as a point in time at which consent is exchanged between the couple in front of witnesses approved by law, followed by consummation, the tradition here recognizes the consummation of a marriage with the birth of the first child. To that point the marriage...

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7. Homosexuality

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pp. 214-235

ONE SEXUAL ISSUE is today causing anguish to some Christians and confusion and anger to others and is tearing the churches apart as never before. It is the issue of homosexuality. In this chapter we consider this issue in the context of scripture and the Catholic moral tradition interpreted in the contemporary sociohistorical context. Our approach is that mapped out by Pope Benedict XVI when he was...

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8. Artificial Reproductive Technologies

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pp. 236-258

IN THE 1950s THE MARKETING of effective oral contraceptives made it possible to have sexual intercourse without reproduction; in the 1980s the marketing of artificial reproductive technologies (ARTs) made it possible to reproduce without having sexual intercourse. The Catholic Magisterium argues against the morality of both oral contraceptives and ARTs on the basis of its principle of the inseparability...

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pp. 259-265

THROUGHOUT THIS BOOK we have argued that Catholic sexual morality is institutionalized within the confines of marriage and procreation, and we have examined the foundations of two principles that articulate the essence of that Catholic morality. The first principle states that ‘‘any human genital act whatsoever may be placed only within the confines of marriage’’; the second states that ‘‘each and...


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pp. 267-322


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pp. 323-334

E-ISBN-13: 9781589017269
E-ISBN-10: 1589017269
Print-ISBN-13: 9781589012073
Print-ISBN-10: 1589012070

Page Count: 352
Publication Year: 2008