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Same-sex Marriage?: A Christian Ethical Analysis [Paperback]

By Marvin Mahan Ellison (Author)
Our Price $ 18.48  
Retail Value $ 21.00  
You Save $ 2.52  (12%)  
Item Number 135021  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   198
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.1" Width: 6.42" Height: 0.43"
Weight:   0.64 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jun 1, 2004
Publisher   Pilgrim Press
ISBN  0829816593  
EAN  9780829816594  

Availability  1 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 24, 2016 05:01.
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Item Description...
Extending the right to marry to same-sex couples is frontpage news, and hotly contested in both church and society. This critical book is written by a gay man and progressive Christian ethicist who places justice making at the heart of contemporary spirituality. In dialogue with both legal scholars and theologians, Ellison examines the strengths and weaknesses of how marriage traditionalists, advocates of same-sex marriage, and LBGT (lesbian/bisexual/gay/transgender) critics of marriage analyze the issues and frame their arguments. The book offers constructive proposals for revitalizing Christian sexual ethics and moving the debate forward, regardless of whether the right to marry is won or lost.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Christian?  Oct 2, 2005
Although I expected this book not to "tow the party line" I did not expect traditional Christian views to be so vigorously attacked (not in a very Christian way in my opinion). I did not finish reading the book but what I did read and skim was purely an ethical discussion with the word Christian in it but not much Christian about it.
A bitter disappointment  Nov 22, 2004
As a progressive Protestant I was hoping for a solid discussion based on Christian ethics of why same-sex marriage is desirable in the Christian community from a liberal point of view. I was very much looking froward to that. What I read was anything I expacted.

The book is very uneven. The author is very good in summing up the arguments for and against SSM by the traditionalists, marriage advocates and marriage critics. These chapters are insightful and interesting. The chapter on the "Justice lens" of marriage was a good read, and posed some new perspective to the institution.

Unfortunately, that is all the good thing one might say about the book.

There is absolutely nothing Christian in the author's ethics and the line of thought, apart form the reference to it in the title's sentence. Mr. Ellison never, during the whole discourse quotes or refers to any well know Christian ethicist of any sort. There is not even one citation from the Scripture. We are exposed to some very disturbing and arguable critique by modern North American feminist [...] theologians, whose link with Christianity of any sort is tenuous to say the least, and whose preponderance throughout the book makes one wonder if there are any other theologians left. Mr. Ellison seems to be unaware of them.

In the last chapter, the author proposes legalizing multi-party relationships, which is not only dubious form the Christian point of view, and plays into the hands of conservatives that argue that the next step after legalizing gay marriage will be legalizing polygamy.

I am very sorry to have bought the book, and I will certainly not come back to it again. The question is why Mr. Ellison chose to call it "A Christian Ethical Analysis"? I cannot escape the notion that it was only to stand out in the same-sex marriage debate. Unfortunately we are still missing a Christian ethical analysis of the issue.

From not only a Christian, but also a human point of view  Jul 9, 2004
A professor of Christian Ethics and an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church, Marvin M. Ellison presents Same-Sex Marriage?: A Christian Ethical Analysis, a discussion that refuses to oversimplify the complex issues involved in the modern debate whether individuals of the same sex should have the recognized right to marry. Examining marriage regulations today, and conducting dialogues with legal scholars and theologians alike to better understand how both advocates and critics of same-sex marriage shape their arguments, Same-Sex Marriage? sets the stage for a rational and debate of relevant ethics from not only a Christian, but also a human point of view.
Why get married?  Feb 11, 2004
This book is written by a brilliant justice-loving Christian, ethicist and gay man. Although Ellison frames his analysis in the context of Christainity it does not exclude those of other faiths. Instead of exclusionary language Ellison uses justice and egalitarianism as the measure of ethics.

Ellison's book on same sex marriage is approchable enough for the average reader but comprehensive enough for the glbt community and religious scholars. Every possible angle of the marriage debate is addressed. He shows the similarity between what many would consider extreme opposite sides of the debate.

The author goes well beyond dualistic heterosexist definitions of marriage. He questions the historical role of religion in marriage as well as the modern benefits to women and the glbt community.

His unique interpretation makes this text essential to understanding all sides of this complex issue. "Same Sex Marriage" could not have arrived at a better time.

A timely work  Jan 8, 2004
At a time when the discourse about same-sex marriage is limited to ambiguous public polls and superficial media coverage, Mr. Ellison has written a book that does justice to the issue.

Mr. Ellison offers an incisive, historical and spiritual critique of marriage, its social and political history, and the roll it plays in today's society. From the outside same-sex marriage gets polarized into an issue of traditionalism versus progressivism, right versus left. The tendency to coerce the issue into a simple bi-polar political discussion really offers little room for discussion and preserves the status quo.

Rather than arguing that marriage is an institution all should be allowed to participate in, Mr. Ellison first asks what marriage is and defines it within certain parameters that allow both criticism and approval. Marriage is not a static concept, he claims, but an ever changing idea that means different things at different times. He details the coercive and repressive ways marriage has affected women over the years and asks is this something that gays and lesbians want to participate in.

Mr. Ellison argues effectively that marriage is afforded too much weight in society. The normative nature of its centralization in today's paradigm of relationships pushes others to the margins, and not just gays and lesbians. He shows how marriage has a detrimental effect on those who choose not to marry but live in long-term relationships, no matter their sexuality, and asks if the state can ethically play a role in endorsing a whole group of people while alienating another.

In a Rawlsean sense, Mr. Ellison asks his reader to envision an ethic that is inclusive of all. He makes the case that marriage can't be a valid spiritual institution until all are included or until it is decentered. Wonderfully researched, clearly written, and well supported, Mr. Ellison re-aligns the discourse on marriage, moving it from simple left-right politics, into a discussion of justice for all and sexual inclusiveness.


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