SEXUAL REFORMATION CONFERENCE
Theme: Sexual Reformation? Theological and ethical reflection on human sexuality
Date: Monday, 6 May to Tuesday, 7 May 2019
Venue: Hofmeyr Lecture Room (2003), Faculty of Theology, Stellenbosch University
Sex in church is a popular topic of discussion the world over. Moreover, Christian faith traditions and Christian texts of faith – including the Bible – have been everything but silent on sex. Yet the emergence of new sexual moralities are not always welcomed within Christianity, whether in regard to lifestyles, communities, identities, or expressions – which then also includes sexual, gender and reproductive rights.
In as much as “sex” and “sexuality” are not words often spoken from pulpits and in academic theological circles, a vast number of utterances have been made in the name of so-called “Christian values” and “biblical views” on sex and sexuality. These are often given from moral-ethical perspectives, and seemingly very prescriptive: who should have sex with whom, when sex should take place, which purposes sex should serve – and especially, when sex is wrong. Moreover, often there is little or no recognition of the complexities surrounding human sexuality, resulting in what appears to be a blueprint for sexuality, applicable to all persons.
In the past year, movements such as #metoo has brought previously concealed sexual violence, harassment, and everyday sexism in different industries into public moral debate – and, to some extent at least, compelled Christian faith communities to consider their own positionality with regard to sexual and gender injustices.
This conference, hosted collaboratively by the Gender Unit of the Beyers Naudé Centre, Stellenbosch University, and the Faculty of Theology, North-West University, invites participants to partake in dialogue reflecting theologically and ethically on human sexuality, with the aim of exploring what a sexual reformation within Christian dialogue might entail: a reformation which moves beyond narrow moral-ethical utterances, toward life-giving discourses which speak to the history of the Christian tradition, the realities of contemporary complex settings, and a future in which Christian theology might still play a part in how people engage, understand, and speak about sexuality and sex.
This theme thus covers a wide range of possible topics and perspectives, including: reproductive health; reproductive justice; sexual health and healthy sexualities; sexual moralities; queer theology; queer experiences; biomedical advances and new forms of reproduction, family and parenting; marriage and celibacy; theological perspectives on gender; sexual and gender-based violence; sexual abuse in the church; and sexual education.
Click here to download the program in PDF.