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En-Gendering Creation Anew: Rethinking Ecclesial Statements on Science, Gender, and Sexuality with William R. Stoeger, SJ

Paul J. Schutz
Published: 17 May 2021

Abstract: Despite Pope John Paul II's call for “intense dialogue” between theology and science that excludes “unreasonable interpretations” of Scripture, ecclesial statements on gender and sexuality—including John Paul II's own works—deploy an interpretation of the literal meaning of Genesis to perpetuate a complementarian anthropology that contradicts scientific insights about the human body. After illustrating the implications of this hermeneutical inconsistency, this article presents Jesuit astronomer William Stoeger's theological method and hermeneutics of the full flourishing of life as an alternative approach, which fulfills John Paul II's vision for dialogue and paves a way toward reimagining church teachings on gender and sexuality.
Keywords: gender / sexuality / theology / science / William R. Stoeger, SJ / Pope John Paul II / complementarity / LGBTQ+ / transgender / method / epistemology

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