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010103 SE Current Issues in Sexual Ethics (2020W)

5.00 ECTS (2.00 SWS), SPL 1 - Katholische Theologie
Continuous assessment of course work


Note: The time of your registration within the registration period has no effect on the allocation of places (no first come, first serve).


Language: English


Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

The first meeting on Friday 09. 10. 2020, 9.45-11.15 is held online through Moodle!

Friday 09.10. 09:45 - 11:15 Seminarraum 1 (Kath) Schenkenstraße EG
Friday 30.10. 08:00 - 18:15 Seminarraum 1 (Kath) Schenkenstraße EG
Saturday 31.10. 08:00 - 13:00 Seminarraum 5 (Kath) Schenkenstraße 1.OG
Friday 20.11. 08:00 - 18:15 Digital


Aims, contents and method of the course

Despite centuries of thinking, Catholic sexual ethics remained fairly uniform until very recent times. Its normative approach to "sexuality" followed the lines set by St. Augustine in the fifth century that emphasises the so-called three goods of marriage: permanence, fidelity, and offspring, in light of which both sources (of moral wisdom) were interpreted and acts/practices evaluated. This teaching reached its peak of systematisation at the beginning of the twentieth century and was codified in the 1917 Code of Canon Law in terms of primary (offspring) and secondary (mutual help and allaying of concupiscence) ends of marriage. The Second Vatican Council, however, shifted the tables by dispensing with the categorisation of ends of marriage and by giving meaning to procreation only within the broader mutual love of the spouses. Coupled with new scientific discoveries in the area of sexuality, changing mores (mainly in the so-called Western world), and the higher appreciation of the good of the human person, these shifts prompted theologians to start re-thinking Catholic sexual ethics and to investigate deeper implications of these developments. The "issues" that surfaced in that investigation (contraception, homosexuality, pre-marital relations, celibacy, marriage, alternative living forms, artificial reproductive technologies, sexual anthropology, etc.) and that will be investigated in this course, the positions taken, and theoretical advancements made were the result of their efforts. By taking stock of these post-conciliar developments, students will familiarise themselves with the current state of Catholic sexual ethics when it comes to both, applied ethics and fundamental issues, and be able to take and defend their own positions within many debates that still go on in this field.
In terms of methods, students are expected to participate in discussions, group work, and to hold an oral presentation during seminar meetings.

Assessment and permitted materials

contributions to discussions, seminar paper(s), final paper

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

The course assessment comprises of three items: class participation and contribution to discussions (30%); presentation of a seminar paper (30%); final paper (40%).

Examination topics

There will be no final exam for which students would have to prepare by studying certain material, but the course teacher will discuss the final paper of each participant with him/her before determining the final grade.

Reading list

Salzman, Todd A./Lawler, Michael G., Sexual Ethics. A Theological Introduction, Georgetown University Press: Washington D.C. 2012.

Cloutier, David (ed.), Leaving and Coming Home. New Wineskins for Catholic Theological Ethics, Wipf and Stock Publishers: Eugene, OR 2010.

Association in the course directory

für 011 (15W) FTH 17 oder FTH 26, 198 418 BA UF RK 16, 199 518 MA UF RK 02 oder RK 05, 033 195 (17W) BRP 18krp, BRP 18ktb, auslaufende Studienpläne: für 011 (11W) D31 oder DAM

Last modified: We 04.11.2020 08:27