How will these resources help you?
The sexual revolution of the twentieth century, and western society’s increasingly liberal views of sexual ethics today, seem to have left mainstream religious moralism far behind. The British Social Attitudes survey (2012) draws a direct correlation between the decline of religious observance and more open attitudes to sex and having children outside marriage, homosexual relationships and trans issues. Countries with less permissive attitudes to relationships also tend to be more religiously conservative and these moral strictures often seem to amount to human rights violations. So is there something inherently un-Godly about sex and relationships? These texts explore a range of different views on this topic, from moral conservativism to feminist and queer theology. My students find these discussions fascinating – it is important for them to recognise that social conservatism is not always designed to hurt and exclude, and that religious thought can include liberal views too.
An outline of religious attitudes to sex
Religion and Intimate Life: Marriage, Family and Sexuality
by Sarah-Jane Page in The Routledge Handbook of Religion, Gender and Society, edited by Caroline Starkey and Emma Tomalin, published by Routledge, (2022), 9781032161402
The Bloomsbury Reader in Cultural Approaches to the Study of Religion
by Sarah J. Bloesch and Meredith Minister, (2018), 9781350039803
Sexuality, Religion and the Sacred: Bisexual, Pansexual and Polysexual Perspectives
by Loraine Hutchins and H. Sharif Williams, published by Routledge, (2014), 9781138023994
Karmic religions and sexuality
I Am Divine, So Are You: How Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism and Hinduism affirm the dignity of queer identities and sexualities
by Jerry Johnson, published by HarperCollins India, (2017), 9789352774852
Queer Britain: Does God Hate Queers?
published by BBC Three, (2017)
Text © Susan Woodshore, 2023.