Why is sex okay before marriage

Society & Religion - Allowed or Forbidden? Sex Before Marriage in World Religions

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Religious traditions have a difficult relationship with sex. Nevertheless, the religious rules and their application are of great social importance. What exactly are these rules? What is allowed, what is forbidden? Five connoisseurs of the great world religions explain. Part 1: Sex Before Marriage.

Author: Christa Miranda / Nicola Mohler

Sasikumar Tharamalingam (Hinduism):

«Sex before marriage is not allowed. But sexuality is not a taboo subject in Hinduism. Also in the temple tower, in the most sacred area of ​​the temple, there are these figures that are inspired by Kama Sutra. Sexuality is part of nature. But there is this condition: no sex before marriage. "

Rifa’at Lenzin (Islam):

«In Islam, sexuality has a positive connotation. Many Koran verses and prophetic traditions (Hadith) confirm the positive assessment of human sexual relations. Islam sees sexual relations as a natural part of God's creation. Getting married is recommended in principle. A woman has just as much a right to sexual fulfillment in marriage as a man.
However, under religious law, any sex outside of marriage is considered fornication (zinā ’) and is therefore haram (forbidden). What this means in individual cases depends on the legal provisions applicable in the respective country. Whether sex before marriage is socially acceptable also depends on local conditions. What can be acceptable in certain circles in cities like Istanbul is completely taboo elsewhere, for example in rural areas. "

Michel Bollag (Judaism):

«Judaism has a positive relationship with the body and sexuality. Physical love is not a bad thing, but it does require an interpersonal relationship. The Torah forbids sex before marriage unless it is followed by a subsequent bond. So if two unmarried people have sex with each other, a marriage should follow. Ultra-Orthodox Jews do not have sex before marriage. The practice among modern Orthodox and different reform currents of Judaism is different. A premarital sexual relationship is not a drama, but it has consequences. "

Christina Aus der Au (Reformed):

“When it comes to sexuality, two people come very close. We should be sure who we want to experience this with. The fixation on 'before - after' often ties up a lot of energy, which is better put into the relationship. Christians do not live from legalism, but from freedom and love. "

Norbert Reck (Catholicism):

«According to Catholic teaching, sex is reserved for married couples. Because marriage is a sacrament, which means that God's love for people should be reflected in the devotion of the spouses to one another. It is something sacred. Therefore, unmarried people should live celibacy. However, according to a survey of the world's Catholics, which Pope Francis commissioned in 2013, it turned out that the vast majority of Catholic believers do not share this teaching and that getting to know each other sexually before marriage is okay. "

To the experts

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Sasikumar Tharamalingam: Tamile and Hindu priest in Bern

Rifa’at Lenzin: Islamic scholar, specialist Islamic specialist and co-director of the Zurich teaching house

Michel Bollag: Specialist Judaism and Co-Head of the Zurich Lehrhaus

Christina Aus der Au: Reformed theologian, University of Basel

Norbert Reck: Catholic theologian in Munich

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  • Commentary by Reto Suhner, Zurich
    I am missing Taoism.
    Agree Agree to the comment Select answers to reply to the comment
  • Commentary by M. Bolder, Muhen
    Of the five world religions, I am missing Buddhism here. In addition, it is somewhat unfortunate that here the Reformed and Catholicism are elevated to the status of world religions. (Also, "the Reformed" do not represent a Christian denomination, but only designate a part of the representatives of a denomination.)
    Agree Agree to the comment Select answers to reply to the comment
    1. answer from SRF Culture (SRF)
      You are right, Buddhism is of course widespread and important. It is generally difficult to adequately take into account all the major religious directions. The attitudes of the various Buddhist teachings on this topic are very diverse and interesting - but also not very concise: Buddhism does not give precise instructions on many of the questions discussed in this series. That's why we left it out - like many other currents and beliefs.
      Agree agree to the comment
    2. answer from M. Bolder, Muhen
      Thank you for your reponse. However, it seems to me that the addition in the title ("... in the world religions" is simply wrong. On the one hand, Buddhism is one of the world religions, on the other hand, the Reformed and Catholicism are not world religions, but representatives of one of the great world religions It is not an official doctrine of the “Reformed.” It would have been better to choose an addition such as “... in various religious traditions”.
      Agree agree to the comment
    3. Show answers

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