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A Weberian-Troeltschian Examination of the Relationship between Religious/Spiritual Identities and Human Sexuality: The Case of the Proposed Anglican Communion Covenant

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Chapter Summary

This chapter outlines the political and theological context of the Anglican Communion, to situate the current discussions and disagreements about human sexuality. It summarizes the main recent developments which opened the widespread debate about human sexuality, and which together led to the proposal of an Anglican Communion Covenant, and to an ongoing shifting of the theological lines of religious/spiritual identity. The chapter examines pertinent theoretical insights of Max Weber, Ernst Troeltsch, and Robert Nisbet to delineate the likely centralization of authority and uniformization of theological perspective on human sexuality, to which an Anglican Communion Covenant can be expected to lead. Examined through a Weberian-Troeltschian theoretical lens, an Anglican Communion Covenant seems likely to lead to the bureaucratic centralization of authority within the Anglican Communion through a radical restructuring of national/transnational ecclesiastical boundaries and interrelationships, and to theological uniformization and a reduction in the diversity of permitted perspectives on human sexuality.

Keywords: Anglican Communion Covenant; human sexuality; religious identity; Robert Nisbet; spiritual identity; Weberian-Troeltschian examination



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