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The Undoing of Sex: The Proper Enjoyment of Divine Command

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date1/02/2010
JournalStudies in Christian Ethics
Journal number1
Volume23
Number of pages14
Pages59-72
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

This paper examines the way in which divine law and divine command have in cases been commandeered for the purposes of demonstrating fidelity to religious orthodoxy. It takes the example of one theologian’s investigation into the tradition and asks whether, in the very name of producing an orthodox theology of sexual difference, the debate does not end up being cast in contemporary, sexualised terms. It then takes the example of how contemporary understandings of sexual difference can be read back into ancient texts by examining a reading of Parmenides, and by comparison with Aristotle’s reading of sexual difference shows how that reading can be questioned. It concludes with an examination of a reading of a text of St. Augustine to show (1) how the traditions of celibacy and marriage have not been commensurate in the Christian tradition and (2) what goes wrong when they are asserted to be commensurate.