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Same-Sex Marriage and the Transcendental Engagement: A Method Centered Exploration of Contemporary Debate

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Same-Sex Marriage and the Transcendental Engagement: A Method Centered Exploration of Contemporary Debate

Smith, Robert (2013) Same-Sex Marriage and the Transcendental Engagement: A Method Centered Exploration of Contemporary Debate. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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Abstract

The following study offers a method-centered investigation of contemporary same-sex marriage discourse in the United States, with a view of identifying and addressing foundational conflicts. The research draws from the “transcendental method” proposed by theologian Bernard Lonergan, as well as discourse analyses and process tracing methodologies, in order to conduct a systematic evaluation of competing perspectives. While the study examines rhetorical argumentation, it is also concerned with elucidating the underlying heuristic approaches that support moral and political positioning. In doing so, the research reveals the intricate relationship between theological understandings, morality and political behavior.

In spite of a United States Supreme Court decision on the matter, it is argued that conflict is likely to persist until foundational dialectic is addressed—particularly with problems involving (1) religious discrimination, (2) moral relativity and falsifiability of claims, and (3) the assertion of religious liberty in justifying political behavior. In order to curtail ongoing conflict without settling doctrinal disputes, it is argued that distinctions need to be made between claims based on empirical-scientific reason, and claims based on belief rationale. Rather than a secular separation of reason and faith, the conflict underscores an evolving relationship between religion and politics, which is represented by a creative, postmodern movement away from exclusivist separatisms and unfalsifiable “belief” ideologies. This is resulting in changing “church-state” relationships and the creation of novel “faith” paradigms that increasingly call for openness to revision and the substantiation of both moral and political claims using empirical-scientific reasoning.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Theological Studies
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Smith, Robert
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Theological Studies
Date:April 2013
Thesis Supervisor(s):Jamieson, Christine
Keywords:same-sex marriage in the United States, Bernard Lonergan, transcendental method, generalized empirical method, process tracing, discourse analysis, religion and politics, theology and politics
ID Code:977140
Deposited By: ROBERT SMITH
Deposited On:13 Jun 2013 20:21
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:43
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