Sexual Orientation and Human Rights in American Religious Discourse

Hardcover | July 1, 1998

EditorSaul M. Olyan, Martha C. Nussbaum

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Sexual orientation is a topic of intense debate within America's religious traditions. These discussions have had a significant impact on the formation of public policy, as speakers who locate themselves squarely within religious traditions have articulated positions on both sides in recentarguments concerning gays in the military, civil rights protections for gays and lesbians, gay marriage, parenting and foster parenting, and benefits for partners of gay and lesbian employees of major corporations and institutions. This volume, which stems from a 1995 conference at Brown University, aims to promote both academic and public understanding of the different positions that exist on sexual orientation and its public policy dimensions within four major American religious traditions. Writers from within the Jewishcommunity, the Roman Catholic church, Mainline Protestant churches, and African-American churches explore the history and tradition of their communities on same-sex orientation, discuss the moral stance they advocate, and consider the legal and public policy implications of that stance. For each ofthese traditions, two opposing views are represented, and a respondent frames the issue in a larger context. The book concludes with essays by Michael McConnell and Andrew Koppelman exploring how our society might find a modus vivendi in a state position of neutrality on the moral status ofhomosexuality. This book will appeal to a broad range of readers interested in these crucial issues, and in the role the religious communities play in these debates, while helping to foster the climate for a more reasoned and civil dialogue.

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From Our Editors

This volume is intended to promote both academic and public understanding of the different positions that exist on sexual orientation within four major American religious traditions: Jewish, Roman Catholic, mainline Protestant, and African-American churches. Opposing views are presented from each of these traditions.

From the Publisher

Sexual orientation is a topic of intense debate within America's religious traditions. These discussions have had a significant impact on the formation of public policy, as speakers who locate themselves squarely within religious traditions have articulated positions on both sides in recentarguments concerning gays in the military, civ...

Saul M. Olyan is Dorot Associate Professor of Judaic Studies, Associate Professor of Religious Studies, and Director of the Program in Ancient Studies at Brown University. He is the author of books and articles on Israelite religion, literary criticism of the Hebrew Bible, and the history of biblical exegesis. He serves on the editori...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:288 pages, 6.18 × 9.29 × 1.18 inPublished:July 1, 1998Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195119428

ISBN - 13:9780195119428

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From Our Editors

This volume is intended to promote both academic and public understanding of the different positions that exist on sexual orientation within four major American religious traditions: Jewish, Roman Catholic, mainline Protestant, and African-American churches. Opposing views are presented from each of these traditions.

Editorial Reviews

"This remarkable collection of essays serves up a generous feast of reflection about homosexuality in American culture. Within the collection one can get a significant introduction to religious thought on the subject, an intriguing sampling of approaches to theological ethics, a smattering ofpolitical positions concerning sexual issues, a heaping portion of legal theory, and even some insightful cultural criticism on the side."--Journal of Religion