WEB RESOURCES for Sexual Ethics in a Multi-faith Context

The Course Outline of Requirements stating marking values, grading, etc.

The Course Syllabus outlining all 13 classes.
This is subject to change since we are using a new text or two, but gives you an idea of the topics and readings to expect.

Introductory Articles

Sexuality and Spirituality: An Intimate - and Intimidating - Connection by Marvin Ellison [a Word document]
Reuniting Sexuality and Spirituality by James B. Nelson (1987)
Sex and Spirituality by Trish Elliott [from the United Church Observer, 2007]
Keeping Body and Soul Together by Marvin Ellison and Sylvia Thorson-Smith [a Word document]
Introduction to Sexuality and the Sacred by James B. Nelson and Sandra P. Longfellow [a Word document]

Christian Ethics and Morals

Mark D. Jordan a Christian ethicist interviewed about same-gender desire
Morals vs. Ethics a collection of ideas differentiating the two
A list of articles under ETHICS on Sexuality

Sex, Singleness, Celibacy, Marriage, etc.

Cohabitation before Marriage [a Word document]
What makes for good sex? - A farewell to easy answers by Mary E. Hunt
Diverse Forms of Marriage and Family Mentioned or Implied in the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures
Optional (for amusement) Instruction and Advice for the Young Bride (1894)
Soulmates: The Mystery of Intimacy [a Word document]
The Johari Window for self-discovery.

Abuse of Power and Domestic Violence

Confusing Sexual Activity and Sexual Violence a strong analysis of rape in our culture by Marie Fortune.
Reflections on the Theological Roots of Abusive Behavior

Same-Sex Marriage

Mary Hunt, You Do, I Don't, pp. 253-258, in Redefining Sexual Ethics, eds. Susan Davies & Eleanor Haney, Ohio: Pilgrim Press, 1991.

Toward a Theology for Lesbian and Gay Marriage by Robert Williams, pp. 279-300, in Christian Perspectives on Sexuality and Gender, eds. Adrian Thatcher and Elizabeth Stuart. Michigan: Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1996.

Same-Gender Marriage
What's all the fuss about? According to some authors the egalitarian nature of same-gender marriage is threatening the centuries old understanding that in "traditional" heterosexual marriage the man is superior (rational and in his head) and dominant while the woman is inferior (sensuous and in her heart) and submissive. The men crying alarmist and fear-mongering statements sense at some level that their priviledged hierarchical and sexist position (at least in the home) is threatened. What will the world come to, if marriages are based on power with rather than power over?

To quote Dr. Marvin Ellison [Marvin Ellison: Sexuality and Spirituality: An Intimate - and Intimidating - Connection in Christian Perspectives on Sexuality and Gender, eds. Adrian Thatcher and Elizabeth Stuart. Michigan: Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1996, p. 220-227]:

In our society where sexism and heterosexism are pervasive, the preoccupation with the gender of sexual partners is not surprising. In our patriarchal culture an elaborate and historically complex structuring of sexuality has been built on the assumption of fundamen­tal differences and inequality between men and women, and upon the moral rightness of male dominance and control of women's lives and their bodies. Men are socialized to exercise power over others and to stay in control of their feelings by remaining 'logical,' 'rational,' 'cool.' Women, on the other hand, are socialized into social depen­dency and encouraged to accept their powerlessness 'for their own good.' By this logic of sexist dualisms, if men are strong, physical, rational, and in control, then women must be weak, spiritual, intuitive and emotional, and dependent, under someone else's control. In sum, men and women are thought to be complementary beings, each a half ­personality. In the sex act, the two are brought together to become one whole and move under his control.[p.224]
The reasons for so much fear of feminism and gay liberation in the church is that these movements no longer grant moral legitimacy and authority to the patriarchal order of things. Quite openly, they aim to topple the patriarchal family structure, the anchor for the public moral ordering of all other social relations. The fear among defenders of male gender privilege is that this seditious sentiment may, indeed, be catching! Recruitment to new loyalties, especially strong commitment to struggle for genuine gender and sexual equality, is very fearsome. [p.226]
The ethical criterion should be not who we love, but how we love or how we are with each other - equal and interdependent, respectful, non-sexist.

Boswell on Same-Sex Unions
The Religious Tolerance site for this topic giving all sides of the issue
Canadians for Equal Marriage campaign site and Equal Marriage for Same Sex Couples
Rutgers University, Law Library - Same-Sex Marriage
Lesbian and Gay Marriage through History and Culture by Paul Halsall, 1996
Arguments for and against the (US) Presbyterian ban on same-sex unions
A liturgy for a Holy Union

Monotheistic Faiths and Homosexuality

Judaism/Hebrew Faith and Homosexuality
Homosexual behavior and Judaism
4 Stances of Judaism on LGBT Issues
What does Reform Judaism say about homosexuality?
Homosexuality in Orthodox Judaism - a 10-page PDF.

Christianity and Homosexuality Homosexuality and the Bible - Walter Wink's essay referring to Biblical authority
[See also Wink's chart contrasting domination with non-domination systems.]
Affirm United - United Church of Canada - the national organization supporting individuals and congregations in affirming the spectrum of sexuality within our (and any) faith community.
Whosoever: Magazine for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and TG Christians
A Biblical Affirmation of Homosexuality: Dear Louise - a long letter to a friend about truths about homosexually-oriented folks - well documented with many references.
How I Changed My Mind on Homosexuality - a conservative Christian shares how he came to a different understanding
Soulforce - a journey to end the suffering of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered folks
The Bluebook - What We Wish We Had Known: a Resource to Help End the Silence - a Study Kit - [click on 'Resources' and then on 'The Blue Book'.]
Does the Bible Condemn Homosexuality? In an honest approach to the scriptures, the challenge is to suspend biases. Former Principal of St. Stephen's College thinks the Bible does not condemn loving relationships between couples of the same gender.

Islam and Homosexuality
Sexuality Diversity and Ethics in the Agenda of Progressive Muslims - A PDF document by Professor Scott Kugle from the book Progressive Muslims (2003) edited by Dr. Omid Safi.
Dr. Maher Hathout is joined by Munira Lekovic Ezzeldine, a marriage and family counselor, for an honest discussion on homosexuality and Islam. - a podcast from the conservative viewpoint in which going beyond the theological issues, they talk frankly about how these principles translate in the real world: How should people who are gay (including Muslims) be treated within our society and within our families? How should families (struggling to reconcile their child’s sexual and religious identity) approach their children? Can you be gay and still be Muslim?
Implied Cases for Muslim Same-Sex Unions from Islam and Homosexuality, Volume 2
"Social Construction of Religious Realities by Queer Muslims" and "Is There a 'Gay-Friendly' Islam?" from Islam and Homosexuality, Volume 2
"Muslim leaders struggle to advise gay youth" - by Junaid bin Jahangir, PhD in the Edmonton Journal August 18, 2012.
"Celibacy Is No Prescription for Queer Muslims" by Junaid bin Jahangir, PhD in the Huffington Post, October 16, 2012.
Junaid Jahangir, "Queer Muslims Get Straight Respect" by Junaid bin Jahangir, PhD in the Huffington Post, September 15, 2012.


This topic can serve as a case for exploring the role of context and evolving understanding from scientific knowledge and applying the four sources for informed theological decision-making (scripture, tradition, reason and experience).
from Sexual Liberation: From Masturbation to Homosexuality (starts on page 2) [a Word document]
Masturbation and the Four Sources [a Word document]
Making Love Alone a poem reflection [a Word document]


In The Beginning ... Transgender Bible Studies [a 7-page PDF document]
Transgender Bible Stories - Transfigurations--Transgressing Gender in the Bible certainly the eunuchs were.
Christian Transgender
Virginia Ramey Mollenkott in a Gender Talk radio program talks about her book Omnigender at 1:03:10 into this radio broadcast. [Click on the LISTEN box beside her name.]
Transgender Engineer Lynn Conway's Secret a two-part interview in ABC News - Part One and Part Two.
Transgender list of links
Breaking the Gender Covenant another personal story

Religion-Online Articles

This is a major resource for articles on many topics. If you are seeking a specific author, click on the Author Index.

Here are some recommended articles:
Male Sexuality: Moving Beyond the Myths by Merle Longwood (1988)
A list of articles on Homosexuality
A couple of articles on Pornography

Other Resources of Interest

Prostitutes' Education Network (Resources)
Is the One You Are Currently Dating The "Right One"? [a Word document]
Karen Armstrong talks about compassionate action (not "belief") as the litmus test of authentic religion/spirituality. This radio broadcast is good, but there are breaks (while they went to commercials). Armstrong has written a memoir, The Spiral Staircase: My Climb Out of Darkness, about her progression from a disillusioned and damaged young nun into, in her words, a "freelance monotheist." She's a formidable thinker and scholar, but as a theologian she calls herself an amateur -- noting that the Latin root of the word "amateur" means a love of one's subject. But she didn't always have this passion. Seven years in a strict religious order nearly snuffed out her ability to think about faith at all. In this program, we hear the story behind Armstrong's own ideas about God.


GLBT Religion & Spirituality booklist for 2006-2012 from American Library Association
More than you may ever have wanted to know, but a list of links on Spirituality and Sexuality and Christian Transgender

Edmonton Area Resources

Pride Centre of Edmonton - library and drop-in weekdays and many other events ALSO a great list of links to resources and organizations
Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services at the University of Alberta.
Diversity Conferences of Alberta Society - embracing spirituality embracing sexuality - a great place for many (categorized) links to sites under this Resources section.
Alberta Teachers' Association's Diversity, Equity and Human Rights - lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered (LGBT) educational website
Edmonton Youth Understanding Youth - for all GLBTTQ youth [I realize that's a mouthful but in the rainbow of human intimate and identity experiences it represents Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Two-spirited (Aboriginal) and Queer/Questioning, etc., etc.]

If you find dead links or have sites you think should be added to this screen, please email the instructor.