Violence, power, and justice: A feminist contribution to Christian sexual ethics
1998 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
This study discusses how male battering of women can be understood through due attention to contemporary psychological and sociological interpretations and concludes that a critical feminist perspective offers the most adequate explanation of the problem. Feminist theories on the function of male violence in patriarchal societies coupled with theories on power and the social construction of sexuality as well as feminist theories about the institution of heterosexual marriage are then discussed; the result is a serious critique of marriage as an institution which is not safe with regard to women, reproducing and reaffirming as it does the patriarchal power relations of the sexes. Based on this analysis the author formulates four criteria to measure what constitutes an adequate Christian sexual ethics for intimate relationships.
Holding Christian sexual ethics to fair account, the study then goes on to examine theories of Christian sexual ethics in intimate relationships as represented in the thinking of theologians Helmut Thielicke, Bernard Häring and James Nelson. The evaluation of these works in light of the criteria of experience, equality, tradition and integration concludes that some of them have serious inadequacies. An important shift in emphasis and direction for Christian sexual ethics is then proposed. The author suggests that Christian sexual ethics must approach intimate relationships from a justice perspective. It must start with the realities of injustice in current intimate relationships and from there criticize male power, the social construction of sexuality as well as male battering. Such an approach is necessary if Christian sexual ethics is to be able to offer a moral protection for women.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis , 1998. , 202 p.
Uppsala Studies in Social Ethics, ISSN 0346-6507 ; 20
Religion, male battering, male violence against women, intimate relationship, marriage, asymmetry of power, social construction of sexuality, sexual ethics, Christian sexual ethics in intimate relationships, feminist theories, feminist ethics: social contract theories, human nature, women's oppression, women's experiences, social control, equality, justice
Research subject Ethics
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-153ISBN: 91-554-4165-3OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-153DiVA: diva2:161107
1998-05-16, Room IX, University Building, Uppsala, Uppsala, 10:15 (English)