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Document Details :
Title: Thinking about Sexuality from Lay and Official Church Perspectives
Subtitle: Anthropological and Methodological Considerations
Author(s): SALZMAN, Todd A. , LAWLER, Michael G.
Journal: Marriage, Families & Spirituality
Volume: 20 Issue: 2 Date: 2014
Bernard Lonergan’s theory of perspectivism asserts that different definitions derive from different perspectives. Perspectivism adequately accounts for different ways of thinking about sexuality from a lay perspective and an official church perspective and the evolving definitions of sexual human dignity and norms that facilitate its attainment, which derive from those perspectives. There have been a significant number of methodological developments since the Second Vatican Council to account for evolving perspectives on sexuality, including worldview, sources of moral wisdom, and types of ethical reasoning. The most fundamental development in Catholic theology is what Lonergan once described as Vatican II’s 'acknowledgement of history', that is, a clearly established fundamental shift in methodology from a primarily classicist worldview to a primarily historically conscious worldview. Among other implications, this acknowledgment expanded the consideration of legitimate sources to guide reflections on sexuality, including experience, the sciences, and culture. It is focus on particularity that has led to different perspectives on sexuality, definitions of sexual human dignity, and norms facilitating its attainment. The authors consider Pope John Paul II and the official church’s 'natural complementarity' and their own concept of 'holistic complementarity' as two distinct sexual anthropological perspectives and argue for the revision of official Church sexual anthropological and normative perspectives in light of ethical methodological developments since the Second Vatican Council.