Patriarchal Religion, Sexuality, and Gender

A Critique of New Natural Law

Patriarchal Religion, Sexuality, and Gender

Fundamentalist forms of religion today claim authority everywhere, including the debates over the politics and constitutional law of liberal democracies. This book examines this general question through its critical evaluation of a recent school of thought: that of the new natural lawyers. The new natural lawyers are the lawyers of the current Vatical hierarchy, polemically concerned to defend its retrograde views on matters of sexuality and gender in terms of arguments that, in fact, notably lack the philosophical rigor of the historical Thomism they claim to honor. The book critiques forms of fundamentalism and offers an original argument both for how they arose and why they are unreasonable in contemporary circumstances.


'Nicholas Bamforth and David A. J. Richards make a full frontal attack on the philosophical consistency, social relevance, and political desirability of new natural law … will be welcomed … this text presents challenging philosophical insights as well as informative commentary on the role of doctrinal religion in the construction of seemingly secular law. … constructive mode … meticulously argued, well-written, and thoroughly annotated … provides a detailed map of the philosophical, personal, and political affiliations between Grisez, Finnis, George and, most importantly, it closely traces their arguments to 'illiberal prescriptions' concerning sexuality and gender. … This is the gap in the philosophical investigation of new natural law that the text wishes to fill.' Politics and Religion