An Approach to Contemporary Christian Ethics
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Uses virtue ethics to offer a sexual ethics inclusive of LGBT and straight people, one that challenges the longstanding procreative patriarchal norm.
Richard W. McCarty offers a compassionate and inclusive conception of sexual virtue, one that liberates Christians from traditional patriarchal requirements for heterosexuality, marriage, and procreation. Daring to depart from ongoing debates about what Aristotle or Aquinas had to say, this book sets a new course centered on virtue ethics. It employs new insights from the sciences, biblical scholarship, analyses of church traditions, and revisionist natural law thinking. Eschewing simple deconstruction of traditional Christian norms for sexual morality, McCarty offers constructive ideas about what might count as real human goods for people in a wide variety of sexual relationships. Recreation, relational intimacy, and selective acts of procreation are three ends of sexual virtue that promote human happiness and can be appreciated in a broad Christian framework. While primarily referencing the Roman Catholic intellectual tradition, McCarty's work is also vital and accessible to those from Protestant backgrounds. Addressed to LGBT and straight readers, Sexual Virtue provides a compassionate sexual ethics for our time.
Richard W. McCarty is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at Mercyhurst University.
"In Sexual Virtue, Richard W. McCarty writes as a revisionist Catholic ethicist to a generally Catholic, but largely ecumenical, audience. Throughout, McCarty moves easily between insider and outsider perspectives on Christian moral norms as he criticizes, redefines, and offers new principles to supplement long-held moral norms … McCarty provides an insightful critical analysis of the use of scripture as a source of moral knowledge. " — Religious Studies Review