Gentiles and Homosexuals: A Brief History of an Analogy

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This paper examines the argument that moral approval of homosexuality
is analogous to the early church’s inclusion of gentiles. The analogy has
a long but often overlooked history, dating back to the start of the modern
gay-rights movement. It has recently gained greater prominence because
of its importance to the Episcopal Church’s debate with the wider
Anglican Communion. Beginning with the Episcopal Church argument,
we see that there are five specific areas most in need of further clarification.
In this essay I examine significant uses of the analogy from the
prior 25 years to see how effectively they address these five areas. I
conclude that the conversation surrounding the Gentile Analogy is the
current, best hope for mutual understanding among Christians about
homosexuality. However, if the analogy is to advance the Christian
conversation, much greater care and precision is needed in its application
from traditionalists and revisionists alike.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)321-347
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Religious Ethics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2010


  • analogy
  • moral reasoning
  • homosexuality
  • gentiles
  • early church
  • Acts 10-15
  • Jerusalem Council
  • Anglican Communion
  • Episcopal Church
  • Windsor Report


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