Among orthodox reformed Christians in the Netherlands fierce debates have occurred on moral aspects of Christian life. In an essay I co-authored with Pieter Vos and Thijs Tromp, and which was recently published in Theology & Sexuality, we discusses three major controversial moral issues that are related to conceptions of sex, gender, and sexuality: divorce/remarriage, women’s ordination, and homosexuality. By analysing several contributions to debates on these issues, it proposes and explores a hypothesis that concerns the role of a particular understanding of marriage as characterized by a hermeneutical construct: a communal, deeply rooted and subconscious normative principle that drives our interpretations of texts and practices. This essay illustrates the problems of both the dominance of marriage within Christian communities and lived faith, as well as the modern, romantic aspects of this particular understanding of marriage.
The essay has been made open access in the Utrecht University Repository.