Fr Sean Fagan is a Catholic theologian who’s written some great things on the subject of sexuality and theology in his new book What Happened to Sin? Crawley quotes from the book extensively here. I bring this up because I’m interested to note, having read the excerpts, that Fagan would surely agree largely with what I wrote in Philips, Pompeii and Human Sexuality, blaming Augustine for creating the prudish Christianity that influences our culture today, and about which I later conversed with the traditional conservative blogger Stephen Hopewell here and then here. Fagan says:

It is sad that Augustine is still being quoted on sexuality and marriage as though he were part of divine revelation. In fact the official writings of Pius XI, Pius XII, Paul VI and John Paull II bear the mark of his negative influence and his Manichean background.

(For an interesting aside exploring Augustine’s prudery, see the paragraph in the middle of this post where I mention Jostein Gaarder’s fascinating Codex Floriae in his book Vita Brevis. How different might Christian attitudes to sex have been had Augustine not been so influential in its formative era?)