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The National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly

Volume 16, Issue 1, Spring 2016

Joshua Madden
Pages 83-98

Marriage, “Bodily Union,” and Natural Teleology
A Response to Rebekah Johnston and the New Natural Law Theorists

In recent years the account of natural law that has come to be known as the “new natural law theory” has come under criticism. Rebekah Johnston has engaged quite seriously with the NNL account of marriage and sexuality and has deemed it insufficient and internally inconsistent, going so far as to argue for the legitimacy of homosexual “marriage” based on the NNL’s own system. The author argues in this essay that the NNL does not fully realize the implications of its position in this regard, and that Rebekah Johnston’s critique fails similarly in providing an account of marriage and sexuality. To remedy these errors, the role of normative, natural teleology must be investigated thoroughly.

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