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Birth Control and the Christian Churches

Flann Campbell
Population Studies
Vol. 14, No. 2 (Nov., 1960), pp. 131-147
DOI: 10.2307/2172010
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2172010
Page Count: 17
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Birth Control and the Christian Churches
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Abstract

For centuries the attitude of the Christian Churches towards birth control was clear-cut and unambiguous-any artificial interference with the normal processes of coition and conception was contrary to the laws of God and must be condemned as gravely sinful. During the last 80 years, however, as a result of the progress in medical science, the steady increase in world population, and the failure of the Churches to enforce discipline (with regard to contraception) among their own flocks, theologians have been forced to modify their traditional doctrines. Christian literature on the subject of marriage, the family and sexual relationships is now extensive, and reflects a growing awareness of current demographic problems. Protestant and Roman Catholic spokesmen now talk of a population "crisis", and all the major Christian Churches are actively trying to develop new demographic policies which will be doctrinally sound, and at the same time realistic in a period of rapid population growth.

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