This piece was originally published in Sightings by the The Martin Marty Center for the Public Understanding of Religion. Last month the New York Times reported that the Trump administration may seek to legally define sex as “a person’s status as male or female…
by Bryce E. Rich, Fr. Robert M. Arida, Susan Ashbrook Harvey, David Dunn, Maria McDowell, and Teva Regule Note: This piece was originally published on the Public Orthodoxy blog of the Orthodox Christian Studies Center of Fordham University. The title of the working document “The Sacrament…
My book review of two recently translated works by René Girard has now been published in the Journal of Religion. Read the review on my academia.edu page.
Since I've begun working on my dissertation, I've not posted much to this site. But I keep receiving questions about the relationship between theology and contemporary understandings of sexuality and gender.
In response to these requests, I've decided to pull some writing out of my archives and post it. Specifically, in this series I will offer some thoughts that are based on the materials I read in preparation for one of my qualifying exams. Because of the nature of the material, it does not contain footnotes. However, I will at least supply links for the works being referenced for further reading.
Michel Foucault is the commonly acknowledged forerunner in the conversation around discourses of sexuality.
In his History of Sexuality Vol. 1 (originally published in French in 1984), Foucault takes to task the "repressive hypothesis." While many believe that we live in a society that thinks of sex as a taboo topic that is not discussed in polite company, Foucault points out that we actually live in a culture in which discourses of sexuality compel individual subjects to speak about their desires and practices.
The result of this dynamic is a fully developed taxonomic system of desires that count as normal and abnormal and an atmosphere in which individuals can be monitored, controlled, isolated, and even cured based on concepts of healthy and pathological sexual desire.