Love, Sex and Gender in the World Religions Essay

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Pages: 20

Love, Sex and Gender in the World Religions

Edited by Joseph Runzo and Nancy Martin


Two forces which gathered strength in the last half of the twentieth century now dominate the world religions at the beginning of the twenty-first century. The first is the globalization of religions and their resulting encounter with each other, and the second is the need to redefine attitudes toward gender as women have stepped forward to insist that their full humanity be acknowledged in the religious as well as the social realm.

In a process begun in the nineteenth century and accelerated in the twentieth, the great religions of the world became truly global in the geographic distribution of their adherents and so
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It is the second volume in the "Library of Global Ethics and Religions" which explores contemporary ethical questions in a global religious context and strives to present the work of prominent scholars and the diverse viewpoints of the world religions in an accessible manner. As did the first volume in the series, entitled The Meaning of Life in the World Religions, the present volume brings classic sources of text and tradition, philosophy and practice together with innovative ideas and proposed trajectories of change emerging out of classic traditions, to address important ethical issues, in this case relating to love, sexuality, and gender.

The discussion of these topics within the chapters of the volume is wide ranging, from the exploration of love and relationality as the fundamental defining element of religiosity and the wholely appropriate use of the language of sexuality to articulate the relationship of human and divine, to religious ways of defining gender roles and the role of religion in sexual ethics. In a sense this volume, like the previous one, is also about the meaning of life, for how religions conceive of what it is to be truly human, as well as life's meaning, is reflected in each religion's models and mandates for human love and sexuality and for the understanding