Monday, June 13, 2011

Neck Deep in Thesis

I've been up to my eyeballs in sexual ethics reading. Hence the no-posting for awhile. Here's what I've read so far. I admit to a compulsion to having to read all of a book or article. I'm told by successful academics that this will not be possible in the future, but so long as I'm a part-time student, I will give in to my vice and read from the roman numeral pages to the end.

Not a sexual ethics book, but I wanted to make sure to read something specifically by a Lutheran on ethics in general. Very good book. I'm a fan of Childs and this book provides an easy to follow method for moral discernment.

I'll be honest, I don't remember much of this book. Definitely dry. Definitely exegesis. I'm glad I took notes for later perusal. 

Full disclosure, Dr. G is my thesis advisor. That said, this is one of my top 3 books so far. Excellent look at Christian ethics from a liberal Christian point of view that is still well informed and well argued. Mutual pleasure is at the heart of the work. I can dig it. 

This is the second driest read of the group. It's very good exegetically and connects the dots between purity, property, and sex. I can appreciate his general findings (that anything related to purity laws is not binding on Christians; that most of the sexual injunctions in the Bible have a property right reasoning), but cannot agree with some specific findings (on bestiality and polygamy for instance).

Add this to the canon. It's that good. An excellent look at late 20th century Christian ethics. Only parts of it appear dated (written in 1978, it still has to address some of the "sexual revolution" things). Worth reading by anyone regardless of their level.

Excellent excellent excellent. I read this for an overview of her hermeneutics of suspicion methodology. But like I said, I had to read the whole thing. What was very surprising is that she didn't throw out Paul and the seeming "misogynist" authors, but rather embraced them and explained how those excerpts seemingly subordinating women could be reinterpreted based on the social ethos of the time to support a "discipleship of equals."

Bingo! Sexual ethics AND specifically Lutheran. Unfortunately this does not live up to Gudorf or Nelson -- but it's also directed at a different audience. No footnotes, no acadespeak, etc. It's a good book if you don't want all that extra stuff. But if you want more than meat and potatoes it might not live up to expectations.

Currently reading:
This is where I'm at now. On chapter 3. So far I am very impressed by her methodology. With rule-based ethic and situation ethic on either pole, she argues for an ethic of moral agency which approaches discernment from principle rather than set in stone rules. I think I'll continue liking this through the end.

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