Reenvisioning Sexual Ethics: A Feminist Christian Account

Reenvisioning Sexual Ethics: A Feminist Christian Account


Karen Peterson-Iyer (Author)



A profound feminist Christian reframing of sexuality examines contemporary social practices and ethical sex

From the sexual abuse crisis in the Roman Catholic Church to the US Supreme Court decision outlawing state-level bans on same-sex marriage, it has become clear that Catholics and other Christians cannot afford to downplay sex or rely on outdated normative understandings of its moral contours. Feminist theological approaches offer a way forward by considering not just what we should do in sexual spheres but also what sort of sexual people we should aspire to be.

In Reenvisioning Sexual Ethics, author Karen Peterson-Iyer adopts a feminist Christian anthropological framework to connect robust theological and ethical analysis to practical sexual issues, particularly those confronting college-aged and younger adults today. The book examines four divergent yet overlapping contemporary social practices and phenomena wherein sex plays a central role: “hookup” culture; “sexting”; sex work; and sex trafficking. Through these case studies, Peterson-Iyer shows that ethical sex is best demarcated not as a matter of chastity on the one hand and purely free consent on the other, but rather as ideally expressing the fullness of human agency, communicating the joy of shared pleasure, and conferring a deep sense of possibility and wholeness upon all participants.

This feminist Christian framework will help facilitate frank and profound discussions of sex, enabling young adults to define themselves and others not by hypersexualized and gendered social norms or attitudes but by their fundamental status as dignified and beloved by God.



Publication Date



Georgetown University Press

Reenvisioning Sexual Ethics: A Feminist Christian Account