Theology Reflection Essay

Theology Reflection Essay-61
It was written for INTAMS (The International Academy for Marital Spirituality) in March 2009, and is yet to be published. I gave this talk to a group of about forty theologians and church leaders, in January 2008, in Johannesburg, South Africa.The Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance convened a colloquium, hosted by the Christian Aids Bureau for Southern Africa. I know the title looks obscure, but it had to fit a very large volume on the spirituality of marriage, published in 2009 (see link). The argument of this article is that marriage is better than alternatives to marriage - better for the partners, for the common good, and for children.I had no idea about the storm that was to break within the Anglican Communion later in the decade. While it is nearly ten years old, I think most of the points it makes are still fresh.

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Some early Christian thinkers such as Tertullian were of the view that any intrusion of secular philosophical reason into theological reflection was out of order.

Thus, even if certain theological claims seemed to fly in the face of the standards of reasoning defended by philosophers, the religious believer should not flinch. Augustine of Hippo, argued that philosophical reflection complemented theology, but only when these philosophical reflections were firmly grounded in a prior intellectual commitment to the underlying truth of the Christian faith.

Our theme was 'Breaking the Silence: Theological Reflection on HIV Prevention'. The essay shows how half a dozen or so models of marriage, found in Christian doctrine over the centuries, can actually illuminate the meanings given to marriage today in a compelling way. Theological arguments which lead to the same conclusion are discussed and approved.

I was invited to write this piece for the Orthodox Church journal, Sobornost, in July 2007, for its issue on the ... Don't be put off by the mellifluous simplicity of the title. 2007, the Archbishop of Canterbury said, For most Anglicans, questions about sexual ethics belonged in that category of teaching that was not up for negotiation as a result of cultural variation or social development.

While it is addressed directly to them, it provides a useful introduction to what Christian marriage is all about. It is a good introduction to my thinking about marriage. This essay is an assault on the notion of 'impaired communion', suggesting that 'a loathing of lesbigay people and their sex lives is the real source of impaired communion'. I had long made the argument that academies with a Christian foundation can only emphasise their distinctiveness in a plural environment by ... In December 2003 the Church of England House of Bishops Group on Issues in Human Sexuality published their discussion document, 'Some Issues in Human Sexuality - a guide to the debate'.

This article is a contribution to the 'discussion'.

I was asked to comment on the findings by the Church Times and by the Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement. It was published in Embracing Sexuality (see link).

I had done some work in Chicago on the acrimonious 'debates' about sexuality in various Protestant churches. This article was originally a lecture to a conference of teachers in the UK, involved in Sex and Relationships Education.

I first question whether the document is a guide and whether the quarrels between Anglicans are best designated a ... Central to the Christian understanding of sex is, of course, the institution of marriage, and this has become for many, a great stumbling block. ' Both were published in the journal Modern Believing in 2003.

In this first of two articles, written for the journal Modern Believing (Jan. 2003) I commend marriage, but in a way that makes it good news for Christians whether they are married, no longer married, ... It investigates whether sexual relationships other than marriage can also be paths to holiness. Living together before marriage was a big issue in the early noughties.


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