In the Mail: I will anger some of you edition

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Publisher’s Description:

“God, Sex, Science, Gender: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Christian Ethics” is a timely, wide-ranging attempt to rescue dialogues on human sexuality, sexual diversity, and gender from insular exchanges based primarily on biblical scholarship and denominational ideology. Too often, dialogues on sexuality and gender devolve into the repetition of party lines and defensive postures, without considering the interdisciplinary body of scholarly research on this complex subject. This volume expands beyond the usual parameters, opening the discussion to scholars in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences to foster the development of Christian sexual ethics for contemporary times. Essays by prominent and emerging scholars in the fields of anthropology, sociology, psychology, philosophy, literary studies, theology, and ethics reveal how faith and reason can illuminate our understanding of human sexual and gender diversity. Focusing on the intersection of theology and science and incorporating feminist theory, “God, Sex, Science, Gender” is a much-needed call for Christian ethicists to map the origins and full range of human sexual experience and gender identity. Essays delve into why human sexuality and gender can be so controversial in Christian contexts, investigate the complexity of sexuality in humans and other species, and reveal the implications of diversity for Christian moral theology.

I am not a foe of science, believing that it shows us the how to God’s what. The eighth day is still going on, in my opinion.

But, no doubt, as I settle in to review this book, and in doing so, I will upset or anger, disappoint or alienate a few readers. Perhaps instead of the negativity, we can discuss what the book has to say rationally and in Christian love.


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13 Replies to “In the Mail: I will anger some of you edition”

  1. The reason for the “scare quotes” is that none of the disciplines listed are legitimate science disciplines. Admittedly I also have a notion that Academic Ethics is an oxymoron (for proof, read Hauerwas), but I will try to hold my tongue. 😉

  2. But, Looney, neither of us have even read the book to be able to give it a fair shake.

    And why do you feel that those disciplines are sciences in the common sense?

  3. My definition of science generally revolves around Popper's approach: 1) A scientific theory must be single, precisely defined, and give specific predictions. 2) It must be possible to conduct an experiment, make accurate measurements, and determine if the measurements match the predictions. 3) It must be conceivable that the theory could be falsified if data were discovered that conflicted with the theory. (In engineering, this is the standard I live with professionally.)

    Things like anthropology and social science are vague, subjective and simply don't have any way to meet criteria 1). Thus, the majority of what academia peddles as science simply isn't. That doesn't preclude a statement from such a practitioner from being right, however, the term science should never be invoked in support of their statements.

    Regarding “fair shake”s, don't we always make some judgment before buying a book?

  4. But, you are defining scientific theories. We can too make theories in other fields, however, in the fields of this book, theories may not be needed, which is why the definition of science must be looked at.

    Science itself means knowledge, and refers to the collection and organization of knowledge. Thus, even theology can be a science, although it may not require a scientific theory.

    See, I didn't buy this book. The University of Illinois sent it to me 🙂

  5. “See, I didn't buy this book. The University of Illinois sent it to me 🙂 “

    🙂 You are forgiven!

    Yes, the original classical sense of science just meant knowledge, but that included astrology and religion. The modern sense is generally associated with the kind of robust work and methods that Newton began. Aren't those “scare quotes” appropriate when we are faced with extreme opposites in meaning for a term like “science”?

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