As Kalbian explores and contrasts the Catholic Church’s stance toward condoms and HIV/AIDS, emergency contraception in cases of rape, and contraception and population control, she underscores how contraception is not just a private decision, but a deeply social, cultural, and political one, with profound global implications. Kalbian concludes that even the most tradition-bound communities rely on justificatory schemes that are fluid and diverse. Taking this diversity seriously helps us to understand how religious traditions change and develop.
Sex, Violence, and Justice will be of interest to students and scholars of Catholic moral theology, sexual ethics, religion and society, gender and religion, as well as to specialists and practitioners in public health.
Aline H. Kalbian is associate professor of religion at Florida State University. She is the author of Sexing the Church: Gender, Power, and Ethics in Contemporary Catholicism.
"...Catholic attitudes about women in the priesthood... display [a] contradiction between egalitarian and subordinationist views.... Women are denied access to the 'eucharistic' priesthood because allowing them in would upset the redemptive order. Why is it, then, that imagery from the created order (women as mothers, brides, virgins) is often used to describe the redemptive 'mystery' that connects Christ with the Church? Why is the Church 'sexed' female?... This sexing of the Church is more than just an example of how gender and order work in Catholic morality; it also reveals tensions in the complex patterns of Catholic reasoning about marriage, reproduction, and church authority. In a surprising way, it challenges the order enforced by the Catholic ethics of marriage and reproduction." -- from Chapter One
The regulation of human sexuality in contemporary Catholicism, a topic that monopolizes public conversation about the Catholic Church, is also a central concern of Catholic theological discussions of religious ethics. Aline H. Kalbian traces the history of the connection between moral theology and sexual ethics as it applies to the concern for order in official teachings on marriage, reproduction, and sex. She explores order as it is reflected in the theology of marriage, the 20th-century challenge to that order in the debates on contraception and assisted reproduction, and the way attitudes about gender in Catholicism connect theological and moral order with ecclesiastical order.