SEXUAL ANRTHOPOLOGY: NNLT VS. FEMINIST REVISIONISTS
In The Sexual Person by authors Todd A. Salzman and Michael G. Lawler (Sawler), we are presented with multiple views on humans and the sexual being. Exposure to traditionalist, Natural Law Theorists, Revisionists, and Sawler’s own perspectives, widens the understanding of the Christian view on sexual acts while providing multiple perspectives that help question the interpretation behind the moral laws. Compare and contrasting the Natural Law Theorists and Feminist Revisionists, I will explore their perspectives on sexual anthropology and conclude with my own interpretation of the sexual human.
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Natural tradition brought the perspective of bodily pleasure as a threat to human rationality, which has shaped much of the magisterial theological reflection on sexual anthropology. “There is a disconnect between these theoretical developments and the norms guiding human sexual behavior.“ As is apparent, the revisionist’s point of view here is focused on not simply the result of what human sexual acts lead to, but the importance of the process. They emphasize the importance of physical pleasure not just for the man, but for the woman as well (which are neglected from the Magisterium’s definition of the marital sexual act). In this, a married man and woman can become unified as well, not simply for the purpose of procreating.
Furthermore, “From NNLT’s perspective, the Magisterium is the definitive judge of whether or not an aspect of a basic good and the norm deduced from it can be revised. This criterion is grounded in authority, however, and not necessarily in the particularity and existential reality of basic goods and how we come to discern their significance for human fulfillment through historical consciousness”. From the revisionist perspective, “there are no absolute material norms of right and wrong actions because the open-endedness of human freedom and the basic goods are granted their full significance” . Viewing these drastically different point-of-views as to the Magisterium’s authority over humanity’s sexuality puts things, oddly enough, into even more perspective.