This bold work asks whether traditional Christian sexual morality, with its emphasis on sexual abstinence outside of heterosexual marriage, is harmful. Appealing to sociological studies, anthropological theories, and contemporary theological ethics, Hartwig develops a model of sexual virtue around the concept of a poetics of intimacy and applies this model to particular challenges faced by the divorced, married couples, gay men and lesbians, single adults, and people with mental and developmental disabilities. He concludes that mandated long-term and lifelong sexual abstinence for those outside heterosexual marriage is not only harmful, but compromises many features of Christian morality.
The Author: Michael J. Hartwig is Ethics Consultant and Professor in Boston, Massachusetts. His previously published essays include Parenting Ethics and Reproductive Technologies and Galileo, Gene Researchers and the Ethics of Homosexuality. He completed his graduate work at the Gregorian University in Rome and at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, where he received his doctorate in religious ethics.