Monday, July 25, 2011

On My Bookshelf

Taking a cue from Sojourners, the 10 books closest at hand/reached for most often. Unfortunately the bookshelf that is described in the link has been on my want list for months. I still have to move to access most of my books. :(

Top 10 (in order from closest to farthest):

1) Chicago Manual of Style -- gotta have it real close for thesis writing. You get the common style points memorized quickly, but there's always those exceptions . . .

2) Lutheran Book of Worship and 3) With One Voice -- For choosing hymns.

4) Just Love -- Just happens to be the one of the many thesis sources on my desk right now.

5) Love Does No Harm 6) Promise of Lutheran Ethics 7) Premarital Sex in America -- These are not on my desk, but are the ones I reach for the most for citations.

8) The New Oxford Annotated Bible -- For getting my scripture on.

9) Love and Justice -- A great collection of shorter writings regardless of topic.

10) Doesn't technically fit as a "book on my desk," but I rely heavily on the internet for stuff like dictionaries, Constitution, free books through my Kindle (such as Luther), this site because I need to be able to spell Schüssler correctly, and probably the most used to go in conjunction with #2 and #3, Revised Common Lectionary.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Chapter Outline of My Thesis

 I. “On the Ethics of Free Milk: From Torah to Today”

This chapter will introduce the thesis and examine the morality of premarital sex from scripture and the present. It will provide an overview of sexual injunctions in the books of Moses, the Gospels, and the epistles while also examining contemporary concepts of sex such as recent developments in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. It will also introduce the themes of delayed marriage, hookups, cohabitation, and serial monogamy.

II. “Purity and Property Contracts to Egalitarianism: Marriage in Scripture and Modernity”

This chapter will examine the ideal marriage as described in scripture as well as the rules and traditions surrounding it. It will describe how marriage was viewed as a property transaction between a father and a future husband with the need to guarantee the “new vs. used” nature of the goods being exchanged.
This contrasts with the modern ideal of marriage includes mutual love, submission, and intimacy. The contractual nature of marriage, if still evident at all, is found taking place between the husband and wife as opposed to the husband and father of the bride This will draw heavily on Nelson, Gudorf, and St. Paul.

III. “21st Century Sex: To Infinity and Beyond”

While much has been written on sex throughout historical periods, this thesis will focus on contemporary ideas of sex – specifically from the second half of the 20th century to the present. This period has seen a liberation of sexuality. Conservatives have often turned to a slippery-slope argument to counter this trend. It is important to consider at what point liberalization becomes self-righteousness or idolatry and to define the limits of what is permitted. While this thesis will argue for yet another “deregulation” of sex, the same conditions that should apply to sex for non-married couples should also apply to married couples. Thus, it could also be considered an increase in regulation. This thesis will also examine how a focus on egalitarian relationships could help increase “sanctification” as opposed to decrease it.

IV. “Conclusion: Returning to Scripture”

As mentioned above, while looking to scripture for approval is not feasible, holding conclusions up to the light of scripture for evaluation is important.  Instead of prima scriptura I'm actually attempting an ultima scriptura in the hopes that it will strengthen a hermeneutic of suspicion and negate any hermeneutic of consent I may have. This section will be taking my hypothesis on nonmarried sex and seeing if it can hold water against scriptural injunctions against it. 

Done with the I of I/O

Finally done with all the reading I wanted to do for the thesis. I hope I took good notes. Now onto "coding" them so I can retrieve citations easier. I use a program that was designed for qualitative data analysis, but it works pretty well for what I need. I'll go through all the quotes I've gotten from reading, and code them according to argument and chapter. With WeftQDA I can just select an argument or chapter and it will show me every quote that fits. Possibly more work than it needs to be, but it works for me.

So far, there seem to be three broad social narratives that contribute to the topic (premarital sex in case you've forgotten).

  • Since the end of WW2 or so, the ideal marital relationship has been based on romantic and intimate love. The concept of a "soul mate" gets introduced and (probably) greatly affects peoples' decision in a marriage partner.
  • Going back a little further, we've seen an increasing "deregulation" in sex. This (probably) started with first wave feminism, proceeded to homosexuality, and now gets turned onto premarital sex. Slippery slope arguments abound and often with good reason.
  • Marketing geniuses have found out how easy it is to sell a mundane product by using sex. This commodification of sex has transferred sex from something relational (something that happens between two people) to a product to be consumed (relationship has no part in the equation--solely orgasm [or at least the hope for one]).

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Bibliography Finished

And almost done reading it all . . . hence my lack of recent posts. For those interested, here it is:

Althaus, Paul. 2007. The ethics of Martin Luther. Minneapolis: Fortress Press.

Barkan, Steven E. 2006. Religiosity and premarital sex in adulthood. Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 45, no. 3: 407-417.

Bloomquist, Karen L. and John R. Stumme, eds. 1998. The promise of Lutheran ethics. Minneapolis: Fortress Press.

Childs, James M., Jr., ed. 2003. Faithful conversations: Christian perspectives on homosexuality. Minneapolis: Fortress Press.

------. 2006. Ethics in the community of promise: Faith, formation, and decision. Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress.

Chilstrom, Herbert W. and Lowell O. Erdahl. 2001. Sexual fulfillment: For single and married, straight and gay, young and old. Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress.

Countryman, L. William. 1988. Dirt greed & sex: Sexual ethics in the New Testament and their implications for today. Philadelphia: Fortress Press.

Ellison, M. Mahan, and Kelly Brown Douglas, eds. 2010. Sexuality and the sacred: Sources for theological reflection. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press.

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. 2002. Journey together faithfully, part one: A message on sexuality, some common convictions. N.p.: Augsburg Fortress Publishers.

------. 2003. Journey together faithfully, part two: The church and homosexuality. N.p.: Augsburg Fortress Publishers.

------. 2006. Journey together faithfull, party three: Free in Christ to serve the neighbor, Lutherans talk about human sexuality. N.p.: Augsburg Fortress Publishers.

------. 2009. A social statement on human sexuality: Gift and trust. N.p.
Farley, Margaret A. 2006. Just love: A framework for Christian sexual ethics. New York: Continuum.

Fortune, Marie M. 1995. Love does no harm: Sexual ethics for the rest of us. New York: Continuum.

Gudorf, Christine E. 1994. Body, sex, and pleasure: Reconstructing Christian sexual ethics. Cleveland: The Pilgrim Press.

Harrell, Daniel. 2003. There's no such thing as premarital sex. Regeneration Quarterly 8, no. 2 [October]: 20-21.

Kaczor, Christopher. 2002. Martial acts without marital vows: Social justice and premarital sex. Josephinum Journal of Theology 9, no. 2 [March]: 310-319.

Keane, Philip S. 1977. Sexual morality: A Catholic perspective. New York: Paulist Press.

Lichter, Daniel T. and Zhenchao Qian. 2008. Serial cohabitation and the marital life course. Journal of Marriage and Family 70, no. 4 [November]: 861-878.

Loader, William. 2010. Sexuality in the New Testament: Understanding the key texts. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press.

McLean, Stuart D. 1985. The covenant and pre-marital sex. In Liberation and ethics: Essays in religious social ethics in honor of Gibson Winter, ed. Gibson Winter, Charles Amjad-Ali, and W. Alvin Pitcher, 111-122. Chicago: Center for the Scientific Study of Religion.

Nelson, James B. 1978. Embodiment: An approach to sexuality and Christian theology. Minneapolis: Augsburg Publishing House.

Regnerus, Mark and Jeremy Uecker. 2011. Premarital sex in America: How young Americans meet, mate, and think about marrying. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Regnerus, Mark, Richard Ross, and Donna Freitas. 2010. What's the best way to encourage people to save sex for the covenant of marriage? Christianity Today, January 2010.

Sassler, Sharon. 2010. Partnering across the life course: Sex, relationships, and mate selection. Journal of Marriage and Family 72 [June]: 557-575.

Schüssler Fiorenza, Elisabeth. 1983. In memory of her: A feminist theological reconstruction of Christian origins. New York: Crossroad.

Thatcher, Adrian. 2003. Norms, rules and steadfast love: Towards an inclusive theology of intimacy. Theology and Sexuality 9, no. 2: 230-241.

Tracy, Steven. 2006. Chastity and the goodness of God: The case for premarital sexual abstinence. Themelios 31, no. 2 [September]: 54-71.

Waite, Linda J. and Kara Joyner. 2001. Emotional satisfaction and physical pleasure in sexual unions: Time horizon, sexual behavior, and sexual exclusivity. Journal of Marriage and Family 63 [February]: 247-264.

Wolfe, Regina Wentzel and Christine E. Gudorf. 2008. Ethics and world religions: Cross-cultural case studies. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books.

Zimmerman, Kari-Shane Davis. Hooking up: Sex, theology, and today's “unhooked” dating practices. Horizons 31, no. 1:72-91.