Ellen K. Wondra
Debates about how Christian theology and practice should address the many and complex aspects of human sexuality are prominent in virtually all Christian churches today. The matters of homosexual orientation and practice do not exhaust the topic by any means, though in some places they are the focal point. All sexuality debates have direct bearing on how we understand humanity as a creation of God that is both in imago dei and also finite, fallible, and beset by the effects of sin. Which is to say, these debates have bearing on one of the core elements of the Christian faith: how we are related to God and to each other.
It is an honor and a privilege for the Anglican Theological Review to publish Richard Norriss essay, Some Notes on the Current Debate Regarding Homosexuality and the Place of Homosexuals in the Church. As Professor Mark Richardson explains in his Introduction to this issue, this is an essay Professor Norris was working on at the time of his death in 2005. Professor Norriss essay is fully cognizant of the implications of sexuality debates, bringing to the discussion contributions from many of the disciplines involved in the study of theology.
The three guest editors, Richard Corney, Mark Richardson, and Kathryn Tanner, have worked diligently for over a year to edit the manuscript and have gathered a truly amazing range of senior scholars in the various fields upon which the essay draws. These scholars have offered written responses which not only address the essay, but contribute to furthering the larger discussions that prompted the essay. I am grateful to these respondents for the care and insight they have brought to their task.
I am also most grateful to the three guest editors for their unstinting efforts in making this issue of the ATR an important contribution to current considerations in the fields of biblical and historical interpretation, the relation between philosophy and theology, and theological method, as well as ethics and theology.
This issue has been supported by the generous donations of many people, listed on the donor page. Their gifts have made it possible for the ATR to send this issue to the bishops and the theological institutions of the Anglican Communion in addition to our regular subscribers, and for this, too, I am most grateful.
As always, I hope you will find this issue not only informative, but stimulating and provocative of further reflection.