The Beauty (Aesthetics) of Human Sexuality within the HIV & AIDS Discourse. 2/12/2011

Presentation by Prof D J Louw, Faculty of Theology, University of Stellenbosch at the PACANet Pre-ICASA Conference held in Addis Abeba from 1-2 December 2011.

The issue at stake within the public discourse on gender, the gay debate, the HIV pandemic and its relatedness to human sexual activities, and the problem of sex before marriage, is promiscuity. In order to make a constructive contribution to the debate, theology should first get clarity on the meaning of human sexuality within Christian spirituality. In order to move from a negative and often skeptic approach regarding human sexuality and erotic desires to a more constructive approach (sexual health), the thesis is investigated whether an eschatological approach can help a Christian anthropology to provide a constructive theological framework for the assessment of the value and meaning of sexuality. In this regard one should start with aesthetics in order to address many ethical questions in a practical theological approach. The article introduces in this regard a very specific dimension of practical theology, namely the dimension of aesthetics, beauty and creative imagination: fides quaerens imaginem.

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