Infant Male Circumcision: A Catholic theological and bioethical analysis

Jones, David Albert (2017) Infant Male Circumcision: A Catholic theological and bioethical analysis. The Linacre Quarterly. ISSN 0024-3639

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Infant male circumcision (IMC) has become controversial among Catholics and many have criticised the practice of routine IMC, still widely performed in the United States. Others have gone further, claiming that circumcision has been condemned explicitly by the Church and criticising IMC as ‘mutilation’ and hence prohibited implicitly by Catholic moral principles. However, closer examination of the Catholic tradition shows that the Church regards IMC as having been a means of grace under the Old Covenant and, more importantly, in the flesh of Jesus. This positive theological account of IMC cannot be evaded by invoking a supposed historical distinction between milah (a token cut) and periah (the complete removal of the foreskin). The Church has never condemned IMC as mutilation, and while IMC carries some risk, there is no evidence that it inflicts per se disabling mutilation. A reasonable body of medical opinion regards IMC as conferring net health benefits.

Item Type: Journal Article
Subjects: 200 Religion > 205 Religious ethics
200 Religion > 241 Christian ethics
200 Religion > 296 Judaism
School/Department: School of Education, Theology and Leadership
Depositing User: David Jones
Date Deposited: 19 Apr 2017 08:41
Last Modified: 05 Feb 2018 15:49


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