Sex and Virtue: An Introduction to Sexual Ethics (Catholic Moral Thought, Volume 2)
Contemporary western culture is awash with ideologies that reduce sexuality to an outlet for pleasure, an ecstatic form of release needed for personal fulfillment, or a commodity to be bought and sold. Many Christians living in such a culture find themselves uncertain as to how to respond from within churches torn by controversy, embarrassed by scandal, and thus driven into uneasy silence on sexual matters. Catholic moral theology, itself at the epicentre of this controversy over sexual issues since ""Humanae vitae"", has struggled to respond to the call for renewal issues by the Second Vatican Council. This book provides a theological foundation for consideration of the moral dimensions of human sexuality from a Roman Catholic perspective. Drawing upon key biblical themes such as covenant, discipleship and beatitude, it proposes an understanding of covenant fidelity wedded to the virtue of chastity that provides a suitable framework for a Catholic and Christian approach to issues of sexuality in a contemporary context. What is needed to counter dominant cultural ideologies is a vision of sexuality as integral to the human vocation to communion as well as attention to the specific practices that enable persons to grow in moral goodness. This work represents an original synthesis of biblical categories, the tradition and language of virtue, and a theological understanding of the human person. It is also among the first systematic applications of the renewal of virtue theory in recent decades to issues of sexuality.
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