The Ethics of Sex
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The Ethics of Sex

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Mark Jordan has written a provocative and stimulating introduction to the issues surrounding sexual ethics and sexuality and theology, filling a much--needed void in this field. Jordan summarizes key topics and themes in the teaching and discussion of religious ethics as well as pushing forward the debate in interesting and original directions.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 208 pages
  • 160 x 231 x 11mm | 376g
  • BLACKWELL PUBLISHERS
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0631218181
  • 9780631218180
  • 1,096,909

Back cover copy

The topic of sexual ethics and interest in sexuality in theology generally, has grown considerably in recent years. Mark Jordan has written a provocative and stimulating introduction to the issues involved, filling a much-needed void in this field. Jordan summarizes key topics and themes in the teaching and discussion of religious ethics as well as pushing forward the debate in interesting and original directions.


The Ethics of Sex is divided into three parts, covering problems in principles of ethics, difficulties in the history of ethics, such as marriage, divorce, and crimes against nature; and finally, new possibilities in Christianity, such as redeeming pleasure. The discussion throughout the volume shows the distinctive power of Christian rhetoric to create, develop, and impose moral identities for which sex is central. Some of these identities are positive, such as the Virgin Martyr, which others are sexual sin-identities, such as the Adulterer or the Sodomite. However, we can only move beyond these established "characters" by recognizing that they were written to be theological roles - and that some theology may be needed to rewrite them.
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Table of contents

Acknowledgements. Prologue: Candid Advice to the Reader. 1 The Vices of Christian Ethics. 2 Scriptural Authorities. 3 A New Life Beyond Sex. 4 Crimes against Nature. 5 Marriage Acts. 6 "Attack" upon Christendom. 7 Redeeming pleasures. Epilogue: Sex and Schism. Works Cited. Subject Index. Index of Biblical References.
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Review quote

"This genealogical approach to Christian sexual ethics is as refreshing as it is illuminating. If this book is taken seriously, and it should be, it could transform the current and totally hackneyed debates." Graham Ward, University of Manchester "This book provides an informative foundation for a serious study of religious sexual teachings and a helpful survey of current debates in religious circles regarding sexual ethics." Choice "Occasionally a book appears that stimulates such thoughtful controversy that one can welcome its arrival with a certain delight. Such a book is The Ethics of Sex by Mark Jordan." International Academy for Marital Spirituality Review "The Ethics of Sex is perhaps the best undergraduate sexual ethics book available today." Journal of the American Academy of Religion "(A) thought--provoking challenge to all ethicists (theological or secular) who aspire to offer an account of the a ethics of sexa " Womena s Philosophy Review
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About Mark D. Jordan

Mark Jordan is the Asa Griggs Candler Professor in the Department of Religion at Emory University, Atlanta. His academic interests circle around the varieties of moral rhetoric, the history of Christian teachings on sex, and the ambivalent relations of Christianity to medicine. His books include Ordering Wisdom: The Hierarchy of Philosophical Discourse in Aquinas (1986), The Invention of Sodomy in Christian Theology (1997), and The Silence of Sodom: Homosexuality in Modern Catholicism (2000).
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Rating details

25 ratings
3.88 out of 5 stars
5 20% (5)
4 52% (13)
3 24% (6)
2 4% (1)
1 0% (0)
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