Sexual Orientation and Human Rights in American Religious Discourse

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Overview

Sexual orientation is a topic of intense debate within America's religious traditions. These discussions have had a significant impact on the formation of public policy, as speakers who locate themselves squarely within religious traditions have articulated positions on both sides in recent arguments concerning gays in the military, civil rights protections for gays and lesbians, gay marriage, parenting and foster parenting, and benefits for partners of gay and lesbian employees of major corporations and institutions.

This volume, which stems from a 1995 conference at Brown University, aims to promote both academic and public understanding of the different positions that exist on sexual orientation and its public policy dimensions within four major American religious traditions. Writers from within the Jewish community, the Roman Catholic church, Mainline Protestant churches, and African-American churches explore the history and tradition of their communities on same-sex orientation, discuss the moral stance they advocate, and consider the legal and public policy implications of that stance. For each of these traditions, two opposing views are represented, and a respondent frames the issue in a larger context. The book concludes with essays by Michael McConnell and Andrew Koppelman exploring how our society might find a modus vivendi in a state position of neutrality on the moral status of homosexuality.

This book will appeal to a broad range of readers interested in these crucial issues, and in the role the religious communities play in these debates, while helping to foster the climate for a more reasoned and civil dialogue.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195119428
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 7/28/1998
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 288
  • Lexile: 1600L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 9.30 (w) x 6.20 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Saul M. Olyan is Dorot Associate Professor of Judaic Studies, Associate Professor of Religious Studies, and Director of the Program in Ancient Studies at Brown University. He is the author of books and articles on Israelite religion, literary criticism of the Hebrew Bible, and the history of biblical exegesis. He serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Biblical Literature and the Journal of the History of Sexuality. Martha Nussbaum is Ernest Freund Professor of Law and Ethics at the University of Chicago. Among her many publications is Love's Knowledge: Essays on Philosophy and Literature (OUP 1990).

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Table of Contents

Contributors
Introduction
Judaism
Introduction: Contemporary Jewish Perspectives on Homosexuality 5
Religious Communities, Secular Society, and Sexuality: One Jewish Opinion 11
Sexual Orientation and Human Rights: A Progressive Jewish Perspective 29
Constructing a Jewish Sexual Ethic: A Rejoinder to David Novak and Judith Plaskow 46
Roman Catholicism
Introduction to Roman Catholic Perspectives on Sexual Orientation, Human Rights, and Public Policy 57
Sexual Orientation and Human Rights: A Roman Catholic View 63
Sexual Orientation and Human Rights in American Religious Discourse: A Roman Catholic Perspective 85
Response to James Hanigan and Charles Curran 101
Mainline Protestant Churches
Introduction to Essays Representing Mainline Protestant Churches 113
The Prophetic Stand of the Ecumenical Churches on Homosexuality 119
Sanctification, Homosexuality, and God's Triune Life 134
Response to Max Stackhouse and Eugene Rogers 161
African-American Churches
Introduction: Three Perspectives on Gays in African-American Ecclesiology and Religious Thought 171
Sexual Orientation and Human Rights Discourse in the African-American Churches 178
Deadly Silence: Reflections on Homosexuality and Human Rights 185
Sexual Orientation and the Language of Higher Law 201
Sexual and Religious Pluralism 215
What Would It Mean to Have a "First Amendment" for Sexual Orientation? 234
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