“Chastity is the most unpopular of the Christian virtues. There is no getting away from it: the old Christian rule is, `Either marriage, with complete faithfulness to your partner, or else total abstinence.' Now this is so difficult and so contrary to our instincts, that obviously either Christianity is wrong or our sexual instinct, as it now is, has gone wrong. One or the other. Of course, being a Christian, I think it is the instinct which has gone wrong.” C.S. Lewis
St Augustine College of SA
The purpose of this presentation is to demonstrate that chastity as a virtue has features which make it more than the restraining or moderation of our sexual desires. I begin by focussing on the primary meaning of chastity as the practice of (pre-marital) abstinence and marital fidelity and then attempt to draw out a few other meanings, high lighting the notion that chastity, like all virtues, is a constituent of the common good of civil society. I conclude with a few thoughts on the role of chastity for thinking, caring and authentic encounters so necessary for being fully human and human welfare.
Rex van Vuuren
Professor Rex van Vuuren is the academic dean of St. Augustine College of South Africa. Besides being on the management team of the college which oversees all the academic programs offered by the St. Augustine, he is also registered as both a clinical psychologist and a research psychologist. His interests are in the area of personality psychology, psychotherapy, and qualitative research methods. His academic interests are grounded in existential-phenomenological and hermeneutic approaches. With this background, he supervises master’s and doctoral candidates and, in light of his interests, teaches new topics at the interface between disciplines such as psychology and spirituality; psychology and family and gender ethics: and leadership and spirituality.