Newheiser, D. (2015). Sexuality and Christian Tradition: Innovation and Fidelity, Ancient and Modern. Journal of Religious Ethics,43(1), 122-145. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.1111/jore.12088
This essay aims to clarify the debate over same-sex unions by comparing it to the fourth-century conflict concerning the nature of Jesus Christ. Although some suppose that the council of Nicaea reiterated what Christians had always believed, the Nicene theology championed by Athanasius was a dramatic innovation that only won out through protracted struggle. Similarly, despite the widespread assumption that Christian tradition univocally condemns homosexuality, the concept of sexuality is a nineteenth-century invention with no exact analogue in the ancient world. Neither heterosexuality nor homosexuality is addressed directly in Christian tradition; for this reason, the significance of older authorities for the modern debate is necessarily indirect. The dichotomy between progressive and conservative positions is therefore misguided: it is necessary neither t
Institute for Religion and Critical Inquiry
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