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Just Love: A Framework for Christian Sexual Ethics [Hardcover]

By Margaret Farley (Author)
Our Price $ 25.46  
Retail Value $ 29.95  
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Item Number 136587  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   336
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9" Width: 5.9" Height: 1.3"
Weight:   1.35 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Mar 31, 2006
Publisher   Continuum International Publishing Group
ISBN  0826410014  
EAN  9780826410016  

Availability  0 units.

Alternate Formats List Price Our Price Item Number Availability
Hardcover $ 29.95 $ 25.46 136587
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Item Description...
This long-awaited book by one of American Christianitys foremost ethicists proposes a framework for sexual ethics whereby justice is the criterion for all loving, including love that is related to sexual activity and relationships. It begins with historical and cross-cultural explorations, and then addresses the large questions of embodiment, gender, and sexuality. Following this is a normative chapter that delineates the justice framework for sexual ethics. Though the particular focus is Christian sexual ethics, the framework is broad enough to have relevance for multiple traditions of sexual ethics. The remaining chapters focus on specific issues in sexual ethics, including same-sex relationships, marriage and family, divorce and second marriage, celibacy, and sex and its negativities.

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More About Margaret Farley

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Margaret A. Farley is Gilbert L. Stark Professor Emerita of Christian Ethics at Yale Univeristy Divinity School. She is the author or co-editor of seven books, including "Personal Commitments: Beginning, Keeping, Changing; Compassionate Respect;" and most recently, "Just Love: A Framework for Christian Sexual Ethics." She has published more than 100 articles and chapters of books on topics of ethical methodology, medical ethics, sexual ethics, social ethics, historical theological ethics, ethics and spirituality, justice and HIV/AIDS. She has lectured widely not only in the United States but in Southeast Asia, Africa, and Western Europe.

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Product Categories
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Religious Studies > Ethics   [884  similar products]

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
A most interesting work  Mar 20, 2007
The author utilizes a Neo-Kantian general or formal ethics to address specific issues of sexual morality. In case you are wondering 'just' in the title does not mean 'only' but 'in accord with justice'. It is well written and well thought out. The weakness of the book from a philosophical point of view is that the general ethics is not argued for at length. It is more or less presupposed, although it is presented in an intuitively attractive manner. Most time is spent on applying the Neo-Kantian perspective to sexual matters. This is something which, to my knowledge has not been done before. The ethics elaborated here can be called Christian because of the author's obvious motivation and perspective. It is weak however in providing a basis for the conclusions in scripture and church tradition. Thus this work is exactly what its title indicates, a framework or sketch, rather than a comprehensive treatment.
thoughtful book on touchy subject  Jan 16, 2007
Dr. Farley's book is carefully written and convincingly argued. As a Catholic moral theologian in these times of limited theological discourse especially on matters concerning sexual ethics, I give Dr. Farley major credit for taking on this subject with honesty and courage. The book provides a wide range of historical evidence on many religious traditions regarding sexuality and she builds to the promise of the virtue of justice based on the human condition in regard to love, most importantly, that is everyone's due and the role of sexuality in love. My favorite part of her book is her discussion of moving beyond only the physical expression of sexuality that she quite rightly, I think, states has had too much emphasis throughout history and trips us up to this day and argues for the importance of the human need and importance of love. I hope all thoughtful, spiritual readers of all religious traditions and sexual orientation who want a thoughtful, well-reasoned theological study and argument for justice in love read this book. Dr. Farley is a refreshing, thoughtful voice on this subject.
When will the '60's end?  Dec 30, 2006
Much of this book is devoted to the history of sexual and marital practices in the West and to a cross-cultural comparison in an attempt to develop a framework for a contemporary Christian sexual ethic. Although the picture she paints is far from complete (she does not, for example, cite or engage John Witte's important work on the development of marriage in Christianity), Farley does provide enough of a picture to draw three conclusions: Throughout history and across cultures, societies have regulated the sexual passions, channeling them mostly into heterosexual marriage involving either monogamy or polygyny; in both patrilineal and matrilineal socities, women were often subordinated to men; and polygyny presents special dangers to women's equality.

Against this backdrop, Farley provides a framework for "just sex" centering it around seven criteria: do no unjust harm, free consent, mutuality, equality, commitment, fruitfulness, and social justice.

But, how to apply this framework in the concrete reality of people's lives? It is here that Farley sounds like a broken record from the 1960's or 1970's. For her, "commitment" is conditional and contingent because life is often too hard and full of unexpected surprises to live a permanent and unconditional commitment. Instead of offering an ethic that provides tools and understanding so that we can strengthen our commitment, she prefers to dilute the whole idea of commitment. She sees the pain of young girls who "hook up" in uncommitted sex "because they want relationships, though they seek them in vain in the practices that make relationships unnecessary." (p. 234) And, she sees young men ("who appear to enjoy these practices more than girls") taking advantage of "sexual partners almost without limit" with no need for commitment. (Ibid.). Yet, the most she can offer them is that we try to teach them the principles of sex that is just.

Today's young people who have suffered through their parents' broken commitments and who know the alienation and loneliness of the "hook up" culture, want more, need more, and should demand more from those who propose to guide them into adulthood. Those who believe that "just sex" and "just relationships" are possible, should read Karol Wojtyla's groundbreaking work "Love and Responsibility" with, or better yet, instead of, Farley's book. My college age children asked me to read "Love and Responsibility" earlier in the year. Since reading it, I have come to believe that it will provide the foundation for Christian sexual ethics in the 21st century.

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