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Marriage, Sex and Theology: Professor Examines Role of Sexual Difference in Marriage

  • Posted by: Kiran Qureshi
  • Posted Date: December 4, 2008
  • Filed Under: Events & Exhibits

Are there theological reasons why the two main characters in a marriage are traditionally a man and a woman? What is the role of sexual difference in a marriage?

These were some of the questions raised by Christopher C. Roberts, Ph.D., during the Nov. 18 discussion of his book, Creation and Covenant: The Significance of Sexual Difference in the Moral Theology of Marriage.

The book examines what great theologians have thought and argued about the theology of marriage. It poses other intriguing questions such as what it does it mean to have a sex, to be a man or a woman under Christ? Who are human beings under God, did God create man and woman as sexed creatures, are human creatures fundamentally sexual and are all human beings in their innermost essence a man or woman are among the many questions raised in the book.

Dr. Roberts explained that, for Augustinians, God creates for the sake of covenance; everything God does is for the sake of creating a humanly city.  Also, for Augustinians, sex is not utilitarian in nature: To have a sex is to have a vocation.

The book studies the history of the theology of marriage. “It is my attempt to educate myself on how to think of sexuality in Christian theological terms,” said Dr. Roberts.

To better understand his book, Dr. Roberts concluded by quoting an Augustinian motto: “Take it and read the book!”

Dr. Roberts is the Catherine of Siena Ethics Fellow in the ethics program at Villanova University. He occasionally teaches courses in other departments as well, such as a popular theology of marriage seminar, which he is offering again in spring 2009.

At Villanova University since 2006, Dr. Roberts’ research interests lie in the areas of theology and ethics; theology and political theory; ecclesiology, prayer, worship and ethics; theology and modernity criticism; and Christian perspectives on money, sex, the environment and material culture.

Dr. Roberts’ lecture marked the final installment of the library-sponsored Scholarship @ Villanova series for the fall semester. The series will host three new presentations next semester in Falvey. Visit the library home page for more information about this series and other library sponsored events

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Last Modified: December 4, 2008