Skip to main content

Birth and population control

Birth and population control. In general, religions give to birth the highest possible value. In W. religions, it tends to be seen as a matter of responsibility, aligned with the will of God: it is indeed a matter of pro-creation. In E. religions, birth continues the sequences of reincarnation or of reappearance (punabbhāva). Although, to varying degrees and in different ways, each religion allows contraception, the emphasis is on the marvel and opportunity of birth.

In Judaism, some (not all) methods of contraception are allowed in some circumstances. The most general circumstances are those which involve threat to the woman or a potential foetus. B.Ket. 39a requires contraception for those under 12 (at that time able to be married), pregnant mothers, and nursing mothers. The methods of contraception tend to favour those used by women (i.e. not the condom), since women may not be under the obligation of the command. Progressive Judaism extends the notion of welfare to include the existing family, allowing family planning.

Christianity has followed the same instinct to forbid contraception, though (generally) without the same attention to detail. Churches apart from the Roman Catholic Church have come to emphasize the whole marriage act, including the sustenance of the family, as a matter of love-endowed responsibility. The RC Church was moving in the same direction until 1968, when Pope Paul VI issued the encyclical, Humanae Vitae, which reaffirmed the condemnation of artificial measures to prevent conception (against the majority advice of the commission set up in 1963 to assess the issue).

In Islam, ‘the preservation of the human species is unquestionably the primary objective of marriage’ (al-Qaradāwi), but contraception is allowed for valid reasons: danger to the mother or a potential foetus, the burden of a further child on the existing family, protecting a suckling infant.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Birth and population control." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Encyclopedia.com. 13 Dec. 2018 <https://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Birth and population control." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Encyclopedia.com. (December 13, 2018). https://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/birth-and-population-control

"Birth and population control." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Retrieved December 13, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/birth-and-population-control

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.