Friday, September 16, 2011

One Body: An Essay in Christian Sexual Ethics

My book One Body: An Essay in Christian Sexual Ethics has gotten final approval from Notre Dame University Press.  Since I've already sent them the final manuscript, taking into account the comments from the referees, I am hoping it will move forward quickly.

This book more or less fills out the research plan started early graduate school with my "Christian sexual ethics and teleological organicity" paper.


Contents ii
Acknowledgments viii
Chapter 1. Introduction 1
1.1. Problem and method 1
1.2. Scripture, tradition and seminal texts 3
1.3. Sex 6
1.4. What is to come 7
Chapter 2. Love and its forms 10
2.1. The New Testament and agapê 10
2.2. Is agapê a form of love? 14
2.3. The ethics of love 23
2.4. Good-will, appreciation and union 28
2.5. Love’s forms and love’s humility 33
2.6. Formal and real union 37
2.7. Consummation 40
2.8. Reasons and unconditionality 43
2.9. Conclusions 58
Chapter 3. Desire 60
3.1. Objectivity 60
3.2. External evaluation 63
3.3. Ways of evaluating desire 66
3.4. Libido and desire 67
3.5. Sexual desire, need and pleasure 70
Chapter 4. The meaningfulness of sexuality 73
4.1. Mattering 73
4.2. Does sex matter? 78
4.3. Casual sex 79
4.4. Sexual assault 84
4.5. Gay rights 91
4.6. Social construction and communication 94
4.7. Romantic love 98
4.8. Conclusions 105
Chapter 5. One flesh, one body 108
5.1. Scripture on union as one body 108
5.2. Union as one body as the reason why sexuality matters 110
5.3. What would it take to produce a significant biological one body unity? 114
5.4. Philosophical refinements and difficulties 124
5.5. Theological connections 131
5.6. The central question 137
5.7. Option one: Pleasure 139
5.8. Option two: Higher goals 154
5.9. Option three: Reproduction 160
5.10. Theological connections, once again 167
5.11. Pleasure, desire and value 169
5.12. Higher goals revisited 173
5.13. Objections 177
5.14. Moral implications 190
Chapter 6. Union, commitment and marriage 193
6.1. Formation of a “we” 193
6.2. Unconditionality and commitment 195
6.3. The thoroughness of sexual union 198
6.4. Duration and commitment 199
6.5. Is uncommitted sex morally acceptable? 209
6.6. Modesty and memory 217
6.7. Pregnancy 223
6.8. “Saving sex for marriage” 231
6.9. The body as the picture of the soul 241
6.10. Polygamy and prostitution 245
6.11. From most cases to all cases 250
6.12. What is the most thorough kind of romantic commitment possible? 257
6.13. Marriage and divorce in the New Testament 264
6.14. Non-Christian marriage 280
6.15. How does one marry? 281
6.16. What is the content of the marriage vow? 283
6.17. “Forsaking all other” 285
6.18. The marriage “debt” 289
6.19. Offspring 293
6.20. “Love …, comfort …, honour, and keep … in sickness and in health” 301
6.21. Divorce, separation and the state 304
6.22. Arranged marriage 312
Chapter 7. Contraception and Natural Family Planning 321
7.1. Positive contraception 321
7.2. The condom 323
7.3. First argument against positive contraception 325
7.4. Second argument against positive contraception 330
7.5. Third argument against positive contraception 335
7.6. Scripture and history 338
7.7. Consummation and the fruitfulness of Trinitarian love 345
7.8. Non-marital positive contraception and natural law arguments 345
7.9. Abortion 354
7.10. Natural Family Planning and periodic abstinence 356
7.11. Condoms and disease prevention 387
7.12. Objections to arguments against contraception 369
7.13. Conclusions 395
Chapter 8. Sexual pleasure and masturbatory activity 398
8.1. A plausible theory of sexual pleasure 398
8.2. Self-deception and masturbatory practices 400
8.3. Visual illusions 401
8.4. Cheating and using 404
8.5. Pornography and arousal 409
8.6. Privacy and modesty 421
8.7. Fantasies 423
8.8. Mental undressing 427
8.9. Sperm sample collection 429
8.10. Arousal and physical displays of affection 430
8.11. What is sex? 432
Chapter 9. Same sex attraction 436
9.1. Orientation 436
9.2. Eros and homosexuality 437
9.3. Is homoerotic love a “standard” non-erotic form of love? 439
9.4. Is homoerotic love sui generis? 442
9.5. The morality of same-sex sexual activity 445
9.6. Tragic love and a digression on sexual reassignment surgery 447
9.7. What should one do? 453
Chapter 10. Reproduction and technology 459
10.1. Introduction 459
10.2. Gamete donation 461
10.3. Unity and procreation 474
10.4. Making and breeding people 481
10.5. Gift 494
10.6. Children as the fruit of marriage 500
10.7. Idolatry, humility and sacrament 502
10.8. Conclusions 505
Chapter 11. Celibacy 507
Bibliography 511

12 comments:

Jarrett Cooper said...

Another book I'll have to add to my wish list. (I hope things go smoothly.)

Leonhard said...

Well it be available as an ebook, or is exclusively written on paper?

Alexander R Pruss said...

You know, I don't know. I signed the contract about five years ago, when very few people were interested in ebooks. I'll check with the publisher.

awatkins69 said...

Can't wait!!

Alexander R Pruss said...

I checked with the publisher, and they gave me a firm yes on the ebook question.

awatkins69 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Leonhard said...

Great, the probability that I will read a book is much higher if its an ebook.

thirdmillennialtemplar said...

Where can one find this book? I can find no link to it on Amazon or elsewhere - I would love to read it.

Alexander R Pruss said...

It's not available yet and I don't have a timeline from the publisher.

Alexander R Pruss said...

Just got a copy of the fall catalog and it's in it. I am still proofreading the book, though.

dovetheology.com said...

This looks great. It seems that you go into significant detail on Biblical views on sex and philosophical views on romantic love, but I'm wondering to what extent you talk about Biblical views of romantic love? Thanks.

Alexander R Pruss said...

We certainly have much important biblical descriptive material about a number of particular romantic relationships, but I do not know that we have an account in Scripture of how romantic love is delineated from other kinds of love, except insofar as romantic love, in its marital fullness, leads to a passionate union as one body.