RELG 271 Lecture Notes - Lecture 3: Rerum Novarum

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21 Oct 2015

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Sexual Ethics: An Evolving Moral Ethos
Sexual Citizenship
-Dimensions: health, freedom, formation, mobility
-Key terms: homophobia, heterosexism/heteronormativity
Evolution of Rights Revolution:
Rights -> sexual -> moral
Bruce MacDougal: “Sites of Discourse”
-Condemnation, compassion, condonation, celebration
-“…that what is celebrated is not just acceptable but in fact is good. In the context of
groups like gays and lesbians, celebration means that society not only accepts or
condones this group but approves of it”
Aristotelian Family Theory:
-“The first form of association naturally instituted for the satisfaction of daily recurrent
needs is thus the family” (Aristotle, the Politics, I.2)
-‘Zoon politikon’
-Response to Plato
-State and family are fundamental
-We have a natural impulse towards multiplication
Pierre Trudeau (1919-2000):
-“There is no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation… whats done in private
between adults doesn’t concern the criminal code” (Trudeau to reporters on
decriminalization of homosexual acts, 1967)
-Sort of reflects catholic upbringing of letting the family be as it will be
Pope Leo XIII (1810-1903)
-“The idea, then, that the civil government should, at its own discretion, penetrate and
pervade the family and the household is a great and pernicious mistake” (Rerum
Novarum, 14) – (principle of subsidiary?)
CS Lewis:
-“Chastity is the most unpopular of the Christian virtues. There is no getting away from
it: the Christian rule is ‘either marriage, with complete faithfulness to your partner, or
else total abstinence.” (Mere Christianity III.5)
Defining the Secular:
-Secularization – displacement, decline, differentiation?
-Rigid model (e.g. Laicite)
-Diversity model (e.g. open secularism)
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