Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Religion & Culture / Religious Studies


Faculty of Arts

First Advisor

Not Applicable

Advisor Role

Not Applicable


There is conflict in the United Church of Canada over whether to approve of homosexual sexual activity and to ordain people who engage in homosexual sex. Official and unofficial organizations within the church, seeking to reduce the conflict and resolve the issue have stated that differences in Biblical hermeneutics is the underlying problem. This paper seeks to show that differences in socialization is the fundamental group of the differences in the United Church over homosexuality. The thesis is supported by four arguments. First, by deriving arguments both for and against the approving of homosexual sex on the basis of the same trinitarian hermeneutic. Second, by a brief description of the dominant position taken in the psychological and psycho-analytic literature on moral development. Third by reviewing official church reports on sexuality, prepared in 1932, 1960-62 and 1988, and showing that though the moral position has changed the effective hermeneutic has not substantially changed. Fourthly, by appeal to two papers on change in the United Church, prepared in 1965 and 1980. With the view to promoting a more harmonious resolution of the conflict, the thesis is applied to the present situation in the United Church to produce policy recommendations consistent with the thesis, and with the faith and polity of the church.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season