How did the church of england respond to the sexual revolution of the 1960s?

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This subject is potentially vast in scope and could easily extend well beyond the structural requirements of this dissertation; certain parameters need to be established initially therefore. It seems the most appropriate place to begin would be to establish what the Church of England’s traditional views of sexual relationships was; after this we should examine the sexual revolution of the 1960’s before going on to discuss more directly its impact upon the church. At this point we will look at three of the most vexed, the Church’s views on the position of women in society and in the clergy,the position of homosexuals, and the church’s views on divorce and remarriage. Finally we will note some of the most significant long term impacts of the sexual revolution and of societies changing attitudes. There can be little doubt that there is more disagreement than ever,over the question of the relevance of the Bible and of Christianity for the understanding of human sexuality.  As in so many other areas of Christian practice, the traditional consensus has broken down and the issue is not fiercely debated. For many conservative Christians, the Bible remains the touchstone for how men and women are to understand and practice their sexuality and how family life, church life and social life are to be conducted.  For many others, however, the Bible has little or no authority as it is so obviously ‘old fashioned’ and‘out of date’ that its teachings cannot be relevant, credible or useful in modern society.  Yet more find themselves positioned somewhere between the two; caught between feelings of loyalty to the Bible and what it represents, and on the other a conviction that people in the modern world simply do not or cannot take the Bible seriously any more,particularly if interpreted literally, as those in the first group would do. Arguably the most exciting recent development in the study of early Christianity has been the weakening of the traditional departmental divisions between secular and ecclesiastical historiography.  As soon as traditional historians started to turn away from exclusively studying military and political history, towards the study of social history; then, Christian texts became such a rich source of evidence that they could no longer be ignored. Since the enlightenment, a question mark has been placed against the Christian heritage; scholars who turn their attention to early Christianity sometimes feel as thought hey are touching a raw nerve and can become tempted to overlay his own prejudices on the subject,instead of maintaining academic distance. In no area is this more true than in the study of sexuality – our attitude towards our own sexual natures and the moral and ethical problems it gives rise to. The extremely demanding and authoritarian teachings of the church on the subject of marriage, and the concomitant issue of sexual practice outside of marriage, is a significant part of our Christian heritage that is still very potent today; even amongst people and communities that outwardly reject it. It is this that provokes denunciation from the idealist and the secular historian alike;

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