Preview Response

Flourishing / Law

Anna High

Associate Professor

Senior Lecturer in Law at the University of Otago, New Zealand


The Flourishing Preview connects with my research on sexual dignity. Framing sexual violence as an assault on dignity allows for exploration of all three dimensions of flourishing as impacted by rape – for example, agency is overruled by the aggressor’s disregard for consent; this moral wrong can result in various physical harms; and there are attendant, diverse impacts on emotion. The "flourishing life" as the normative ideal of personhood - true personhood as people created imago Dei, in the kingdom of God - is more than freedom from incursions, just as sexual dignity is more than protection of physical integrity. Personhood is at stake. Perhaps then a dignity approach to sexual violence is a usefully capacious way to explore and express the multiplicity of rape’s harms and wrongs.