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News From Nowhere Radical & Community Bookshop

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Heterosexism: an Ethical Challenge

by Patricia Beattie Jung & Ralph Smith - £26.75  SUNY Press (1993)
paperback    ISBN 13: 9780791416969 | ISBN 10: 0791416968

(note: this book is only available as "print on demand", meaning that the publisher does not keep physical copies in stock of it. If we do not have it in stock, orders may take a while as the publisher orders & prints a copy specially).
In this ground-breaking book the authors show that the prevailing sexual ethic is no longer useful. It presumes as ideal, a uniform morality based on a limited understanding of human sexuality. Heterosexism is revealed to be a system of prejudice that both grows out of and supports this ethic. It produces various forms of discrimination, particularly those against gay and lesbian people, that cannot be justified.
The authors investigate scripture and tradition and explore emerging social scientific data regarding sexual identity, taking seriously the experiences of gay and lesbian Christians. Their investigation supports the view that reformation of Christian sexual ethics is both necessary and possible. They suggest that offering a pluriform rather than a uniform sexual ethic will result in a more responsible and viable dialogue on the ethical questions that emerge when we move beyond heterosexism.

"Its basic points are strong and clear: That heterosexism is a sin, and its arguments arise from that clear statement. That, rather than focusing on 'accepting' homosexuality, it considers homosexuality a given and focuses on the problem of heterosexism. It is closely argued and holds up well."
(Anne Barstow, SUNY at Old Westbury )
"This book is unique in presenting a substantial, well thought-out position that not only critiques the 'heterosexist' bias of 'Western cultures,' but goes on to offer a positive alternative for Christians seeking to assess their traditions. It addresses a culturally pluralistic situation with a powerful hermeneutic that both explores normative issues and allows for a genuine pluralism"
(Robert M. Garvin, State University of New York at Albany)

(Price & availability last checked: December 2018)

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In booklists: Heterosexuality & Heteronormativity, Anti-Homophobia, LGBTQ+ Spirituality, Christianity,
In categories: Sexuality / Relationships, Changing the World, Spirituality,

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