Five Uneasy Pieces

Five Uneasy Pieces: Essays on Scripture and Sexuality

Introduction by Michael Kirby
Foreword by Bill Countryman
Copyright Date: 2011
Published by: ATF (Australia) Ltd.
Pages: 112
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  • Book Info
    Five Uneasy Pieces
    Book Description:

    The uneasy pieces of this book are well-written, challenging and stimulating. They come from the pen of Australian biblical scholars within the Anglican communion, who are skilled in both exegesis and hermeneutical theory. Each essay addresses the question of homosexuality in the Bible, looking at passages in the Old Testament and the New Testament which are often used as a basis for rejecting homosexuality in Christian ethics. Each essays argues, on the contrary, that there is no biblical warrant for condemning either a homosexual orientation or a faithful and committed homosexual relationship. The book, as a whole, makes it crystal clear that both sides of the debate take seriously the Bible as the inspired word of God, and both are seeking to discern the Scriptures in order to hear Gods voice speaking to us today.

    eISBN: 978-1-921817-57-1
    Subjects: Religion

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Preface
    (pp. vii-x)
    Mark Burton
  4. Foreword Scripture, Homosexuality, and Anglicans: Creating a Conversation
    (pp. xi-xviii)
    L William Countryman

    The academic conversation about Scripture and homosexuality is more than fifty years old if we date it, as is usually done, from the publication of Derrick Sherwin Bailey’sHomosexuality and the Western Christian Traditionin 1955.¹ The ecclesiastical conversation among Anglicans (admittedly, more like a brawl at times) is younger, but not by much, for the British Wolfenden Report of 1957 made the topic one that the Church of England could not altogether avoid. The two conversations, academic and ecclesiastical, are entangled with each other. Scholarly study of Scripture affects the church’s reading of it, and church affliation can affect...

  5. Introduction
    (pp. xix-xxvi)
    Michael Kirby

    There is no doubt about it. The Christian churches (and doubtless other religions) have got themselves into a terrible pickle over human sexuality. The source of the mess is the age old problem of the text. And the human disinclination, in the face of new knowledge, to adjust to the necessities of new thinking.

    After twentieth century advances in psychological knowledge were reinforced by the revelations by Alfred Kinsey concerning the relevantly stable and widespread appearance of minority sexual attraction, it became more and more diffcult to assert that members of these minorities (mostly homosexuals and bisexuals) were ‘evil’ people,...

  6. Chapter One Were the Sodomites Really Sodomites? Homosexuality in Genesis 19
    (pp. 1-12)
    Megan Warner

    It has become a commonplace for contemporary readers of the book of Genesis to assume that the wickedness against which Lot counsels the men of Sodom in the excerpt from Genesis 19 above is homosexuality. This entirely understandable assumption is almost irresistible, given the link between the name of the city, ‘Sodom’ and the English word ‘sodomy’. However, the text itself never explicitly identifies sodomy as the crime of the residents of Sodom, and interpreters of Genesis 19 have not always made this link. Early interpretations of Genesis 19 tended to favour sins such as hubris, abuse of the weak...

  7. Chapter Two On ‘Not Putting New Wine into Old Wineskins’, or ‘Taking the Bible Fully Seriously’: An Anglican Reading of Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13
    (pp. 13-30)
    Richard Treloar

    During a match of ‘Aussie Rules’ football between Adelaide and Collingwood in the 2004 AFL season, commentator and former footballer, Dermott Brereton, revealed of a Collingwood player: ‘His team mates call him “the Bible”—they reckon they can’t read him!’ The common cultural assumption about the ‘unreadability’ of biblical literature which underlies such a typically Australian nick name surely cannot apply to Leviticus 18:22, however:

    ‘You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination’, (NRSV)

    and/or Leviticus 20:13:

    ‘If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed...

  8. Chapter Three Reading Romans as Anglicans Romans 1:26–27
    (pp. 31-46)
    Peta Sherlock

    What do Anglicans think of Scripture? Compared to some other Reformation creeds, The Articles of Religion are fairly minimalist:

    Holy Scripture contains all things necessary to salvation: so that whatsoever is not read therein, nor may be proved thereby, is not to be required of any man, that it should be believed as an article of the Faith, or be thought requisite or necessary to salvation. (Article VI)

    The Articles do not consider whether Scripture is inerrant, infallible or even inspired. Scripture contains good food, says the Collect for the Second Sunday of Advent. We are encouraged to hear, read,...

  9. Chapter Four Keeping Lists or Embracing Freedom: 1 Corinthians 6:9–10 in Context
    (pp. 47-68)
    Alan H Cadwallader

    In the compact city of Chester carefully positioned on the English edge of the mist-touched hues of Wales, one can find a small but professionallypresented museum. Out of full deference to the history that has given the city its name, the major displays in the collection are Roman. One bas relief¹ received, in the nineteenth century, the designation ‘the ecclesiastical stone’ because the common perception was that the two carved figures on the fragment were a medieval priest and his assistant. This perception was of course fired by the debates that raged in the nineteenth century about church orders and...

  10. Chapter Five Rules for Holy Living: A Progressive Reading of 1 Timothy 1:8–11
    (pp. 69-84)
    Gregory C Jenks

    This passage from 1 Timothy, and especially verse 10 with its reference to ‘fornicators’ and ‘sodomites,’ has attracted an unusual degree of attention because it is one of the very few biblical texts that appears to refer explicitly to homosexual activity.¹ In particular, it is also generally understood as condemning homosexual relationships, and specifically any same-sex intercourse.

    This traditional interpretation of 1 Timothy 1:8–11 will need to be tested in this brief study, but other questions will also need to be considered carefully and critically. These questions include the precise meaning of the Greek terms used in this passage,...

  11. List of Contributors
    (pp. 85-88)
  12. Index of Biblical References
    (pp. 89-92)
  13. Index of Ancient Literature
    (pp. 93-94)
  14. Index of Authors
    (pp. 95-98)
  15. Index of Subjects
    (pp. 99-100)