Signs of the Times

Wellesley Alumnae Magazine

The Rev. Prof. Fred Denbeaux
Professor of Biblical History Wellesley College, Massachusetts
in "Only the Chaste Are Free"
Wellesley Alumnae Magazine

It should be easier to preach a sermon about sex than it would have been from this pulpit fifty years ago. The Victorian world, as we know, lacked the language and, perhaps, the courage to speak directly about human sexuality. Today, being considerably less inhibited, the language comes much more easily. Yet while it is relatively easy to talk about sex it is difficult to preach about sex. Preaching requires proclamation and proclamation requires the communication of a conclusion.

Our present post-Victorian culture, committed to dogmatic relativism and continually flirting with nihilism, feels more secure in the task of enlarging problems than it does in the task of coming to a conclusion. While faith must be informed by a knowledge of complexity, it is the responsibility of faith to establish a direction.

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February 6, 1965

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