Thinking Anglicans

Gender: what difference does it really make?

The new Starbridge Lecturer in Theology and Natural Sciences at the University of Cambridge is Dr Andrew Davison.

Today’s Church Times contains a substantial article by him entitled Gender: what difference does it really make?

SAME-SEX marriage has come to England and Wales, and in response Churches are invoking the term “complementarity”. Before using a word, we should think about it carefully. What might complementarity actually look like, in either same- or opposite-sex relationships?

I should like to offer some philosophical tools for thinking it through. Philosophy need not lead us into abstraction, but can help us to understand real lives and relationships. I also want to consider how complementarity features in marriage: not so much, here, within a marriage, but – more provocatively – between different kinds of marriage…

His recent book Why Sacraments? also contains some material on same-sex marriage.

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“Against the conservative urge, we need not suppose these differences prevent same-sex marriages’ being marriages, since marriage is not one monolithic thing. Nor need recognising same-sex marriages undo previous definitions of marriage, as conservatives also argue.”

^This. Well-said, Dr Davison.