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Sex, Violence, and Justice

Contraception and the Catholic Church

Aline H. Kalbian

Publication Year: 2014

In 1968, Pope Paul VI published Humanae vitae, the encyclical that reaffirmed the Catholic Church's continued opposition to the use of any form of artificial contraception. In Sex, Violence, and Justice: Contraception and the Catholic Church, Aline Kalbian outlines the Church's position against artificial contraception as principally rooted in three biblical commandments. In addition, Kalbian shows how discourses about sexuality, both in the Church and in culture, are often tied to discourses of violence, harm and social injustice. These ties reveal that sexual ethics is never just about sex; it is about the vulnerability of the human body and the challenges humans face in trying to maintain just and loving relationships.

As Kalbian explores and contrasts the Catholic Church's stance toward condoms and HIV/AIDS, emergency contraception in cases of rape, and contraception and population control, she underscores how contraception is not just a private decision, but a deeply social, cultural, and political one, with profound global implications. Kalbian concludes that even the most tradition-bound communities rely on justificatory schemes that are fluid and diverse. Taking this diversity seriously helps us to understand how religious traditions change and develop.

Sex, Violence, and Justice will be of interest to students and scholars of Catholic moral theology, sexual ethics, religion and society, gender and religion, as well as to specialists and practitioners in public health.

Published by: Georgetown University Press

Title Page, Series Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. 2-7


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pp. 8-9

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pp. 10-13

...with him. He listens to her intently. My mother?s face is the focus ofthe photograph, but as you extend outward from her, you notice othermembers of my family. My father stands calmly to my mother?s side,smiling. My brother and I peer through the group of adults. I gazeMy mother?s uncle, an Italian diplomat and good friend of the pope,...

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CHAPTER 1 Introduction

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pp. 14-40

...n this book I undertake a critical reflection on one religious tradi-tion?s response to a particular moral issue: the Catholic Church andits official teaching concerning artificial contraception. It is pre-cisely this type of reflection that I take to be characteristic of the disci-pline of religious ethics?a discipline that observes and explains what...

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CHAPTER 2 The History and Grounding of Justi.cations

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pp. 41-72

...and ecclesiastical agendas often conspire to favor one particular view.John Noonan describes the history of Catholic teaching about contra-ception as one of ??tension, reaction, option, and development.?? Heasserts that history is a ??human process?? rather than the ??unilateralaction of God making His Will increasingly evident.??1 Although Noo-...

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CHAPTER 3 Sex: HIV/AIDS, Condoms, and Sexual Morality

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pp. 73-107

Religious traditions do not hesitate to rethink their moral rules in(bolstered by both religion and culture) holds sway in the sexualsphere, a morality whose power depends on resisting critical exam-ination, thus preventing the transformation of traditional beliefsAIDS is perhaps one of the greatest not only medical, social, reli-...

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CHAPTER 4 Violence: Emergency Contraception and Rape

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pp. 108-142

United States allows its hospitals to dispense emergency contracep-tives for rape victims. Is this position at odds with the Church?sabsolute prohibition of artificial contraception? As we have seen in thisstudy, the magisterial teaching asserts that it is the physical act of usingartificial contraception to directly impede procreation that is intrinsi-...

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CHAPTER 5 Justice: Population, Development, and the Common Good

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pp. 143-178

...not prohibit a married couple?s use of contraception, because to doso would infringe on a couple?s constitutionally guaranteed zone ofprivacy.1 A few years later, in its Eisenstadt decision, the Court reaf-firmed this view, but it also specified that this inviolable zone of privacypertained not only to the married couple but also to each individual.2...

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CHAPTER 6 Conclusion

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pp. 179-195

When friends and colleagues would ask what I was working on, I couldalways count on humorous responses, such as ??a book on Catholics andcontraception; . . . that ought to take you one page!?? What more wasthere to say about this topic? In the midst of a world that had over-whelmingly accepted the use of contraceptives as a positive, morally licit...


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pp. 196-211


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pp. 212-225

E-ISBN-13: 9781626160491
E-ISBN-10: 162616049X

Page Count: 160
Publication Year: 2014