Date of Award

5-7-2014

Access Restriction

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Theology

School or College

Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts

First Advisor

Jonathan Rothchild

Abstract

In this thesis, I argue that the both the Church and the Queer Community will benefit from a reexamination of Church teachings on sexuality. I argue that Church’s current position on sexuality does not uphold its own teaching on the importance human dignity, because a sexual ethic that opposes homosexuality contributes to the marginalization of members of the Queer Community. I then argue that Michael Lawler’s and Todd Salzman’s The Sexual Person: Toward a Renewed Catholic Anthropology provides a revisionist theory on sexual ethics that is inclusive of same-sex couples while also paying deference to the fundamental elements of the Church’s teaching on sexual ethics. Having suggested that a revisionist sexual ethic such as Salzman’s and Lawler’s serves as a cohesive response to the Church’s existing position on sexuality, I appeal to Elizabeth Johnson’s framework in Quest for the Living God: Mapping Frontiers in the Theology of God. Johnson argues that individuals who experience marginalization are an asset to the Christian Church because they offer unique insights into God. I propose that instead of approaching homosexuality solely in terms of ethics, Johnson’s framework allows us to regard members of the Queer Community in terms of the contributions they have to offer the Church. Finally, I employ David Tracy’s methodology in Blessed Rage for Order: The New Pluralism in Theology and propose that in light of postmodernity, we ought to use a pluralistic model when approaching a multiplicity of belief systems as well as when approaching the multi-faceted nature of sexuality. I conclude that in doing so both the Church and the Queer Community will benefit from the Queer Community’s full and open participation within the Catholic Church.

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