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Durham University

Department of Theology and Religion


Publication details for Professor Gerard Loughlin

Loughlin, Gerard (2003). "Sex After Natural Law". Studies in Christian Ethics 16(1): 14-28.

Author(s) from Durham

Other versions of this publication


The Church is a sexed body, in both carnal and symbolic terms. The Church has sex, but being the Church it does so in a radically creative way. This article explores the contrast between sex as imagined by the Church and as imagined by evolutionary psychology (Darwinism). It argues that the latter reduces sex to reproduction (repetition) and makes this a metaphysical principle, whereas the Church transforms sex into a means for final beatitude. (Christian sex is not about self-perpetuation, but about welcoming strangers; not about children as possessions, but as God's most precious gifts.) Darwinism strangely repeats a debased (neoscholastic) form of the natural law, whereas the Church looks to follow a law that is the dispossessive desire of God for God. Sex after this law orders us towards the infinite joy of our consummation with and in God, in the fellowship of Christ and the holy saints.