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People who have tried (historical)

There is very little in the history of Christianity of those attempting any sort of alternative, positive, or open view of sexuality. Some who have tried include:

Ephiphanes, the son of Carpocrates

A gnostic, his writing appears only to have been preserved in the Stromaties of Clement of Alexandra.

He radically proposes a common-marriage arrangement based on the universal equality of humans before God and the sinfulness of "Mine and Thine" attitudes. To do this he directly attacks the commandment that direct us not to covet your neighbor's wife (since it clearly assumes something other than common marriage).

This writing is only a short section and there is nothing of how it might be worked out in practical terms. Some utopian societies of the 19th century tried this, or at least limited their residents to short term exclusive relationships. Sometimes it apparently worked well.

Needless to say, it would mean overthrowing so much of the structure and assumptions of life. It would seem only a possibility in a closed community where all could constantly be reminded of the commitments they have to each other.

Is this idea any more 'natural' to humans than monogamy? It seems that many humans have no interest in multiple partners, some have no interest in sexuality at all.

I include him for the radical nature of his proposal.

Jovian [ under construction ]

People who are trying (contemporary)

James Nelson, Body Theology. Such [a viable sexual] theology will understand our sexuality as intrinsic to the divine-human connection, as one of the great arenas for celebrating the Source of Life. Hence sexuality will enter directly and consciously into our understandings of every major Christian doctrine--God, human nature, sin, salvation, history, and eschatology

Prof. Gary Pence

Teaches a class on Sex and Sensibility at Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary. Follow the links in the class, many sources and articles here.

Last updated 6/11/06; first posted 12/18/99; © 2006 John P. Nordin