This collection considers how religious identity interplays with other forms and contexts of identity, specifically those related to sexual identity. It asks how these intersections are formed, negotiated and resisted across time and places, including the UK, Europe, North America, Australia, and the Global South. Questions around ‘queer’ engagements in same-sex marriages, civil partnerships and other practices (e.g. adoption) have created a number of provoking stances and policy provisions – but what remains unanswered is how people experience and situate themselves within sometimes competing, or ‘contradictory’, moments as ‘religious queers’ who may be tasked with ‘queering religion’. Additionally, the presumed paradoxes of ‘marriage’, queer sexuality, religion and youth combine to generate a noteworthy generational absence. This leads to questions about where ‘religious queers’ reside, resist and relate experiences of intersecting religious and sexual lives.
In looking at interconnectedness, this collection offers international contributions which bridge the ‘contradictions’ in queering religion and in making visible ‘religious queers.’ It provides insight into older and younger people’s understandings of religiosity, queer cultures, and religious groups. A small but active religious minority in the US has received much attention for its anti-gay political activity; much less attention has been paid to the more positive, supportive role that religious-based groups play in e.g. providing housing, education and political advocacy for queer youth. Queer methodologies and intersectional approaches offer a lens both theoretically and methodologically to uncover the salience of related social divisions and identities. This collection is both innovative and sensitive to ‘blended’ identities and their various enactments.
Table of Contents
Foreword: Outing Religion in LGBT Studies Jodi O'Brien Foreword 2: A Geographical Commentary Andrew Gorman-Murray and Catherine J. Nash Introduction Yvette Taylor and Ria Snowdon Section 1: Queer Productions, Methods and Occupations 1.Que(e)rying Methodology to Study Church-Based Activism: Conversations in Culture, Power, and Change Karen Macke 2. Queering Secular Jewish Culture(s) Naomi Braine 3. Sexuality, Migration and Identity among Gay Iranian Migrants to the UK Rusi Jaspal 4. Is it Possible to be Queer and Catholic? Overcoming the "Silence of Sodom" Dominic Wetzel Section 2: Queer Contestations: Past, Present, Future 5. Unpacking Queer Secularity: Queer Kids, Schools and Secularism in Toronto, Ontario, Canada David K. Seitz 6. Conversations with God: Reconciling Religious Identities with Sexual Identities among Gay and Bisexual Men in Scotland, 1950-1999 Jeff Meek 7. Queer Travels: Intersections for the Study of Islam, Sexuality, and Queer Theory George Ioannides 8.‘Mindful of the Words Spoken’: The Shifting Narratives and Identity Work of Former Ex-gays S.J. Creek Section 3: Queer Locations: Centres and Peripheries 9. Sacralizing Queerness: LGBT Faith Movements and Identity Deployment Jason J. Hopkins 10. When Religion Reshapes Identities: Young Moroccan Adults, Sexual Behaviour and Islamic Modernities Vulca Fidolini 11. Islam, Homosexuality and Gay Muslims: Bridging the Gap Between Faith and Sexuality Asifa Siraj 12. Coming Out Under Prohibition: Ordination and Queer Identity in Mainline Protestantism John J. Anderson Section 4: Queer Affirmations? Keeping the Faith 13. Hidden Desires: Hinduism and Sexuality Shaminder Takhar 14. Complicity and Control in Compositions: Queers Overcoming Victimization in Christian Families Peik Ingman 15. Reconceiving and Recontextualizing Religious Identity: Lesbian Mothers and Transracial Adoption Julie J. Kilmer
Yvette Taylor is Head of the Weeks Centre for Social and Policy Research at London South Bank University, UK. She received the esteemed Lillian Robinson Fellowship held at Concordia University, Canada (2009) and a Fulbright Scholarship, Rutgers University (2010-2011). She has published three sole-authored books: Working-class Lesbian Life (2007), Lesbian and Gay Parenting (2009), and Fitting Into Place? Class and Gender Geographies and Temporalities (2012), which have received favourable reviews. She has several successful edited collections including: (with Hines, S. and Casey, M.) Theorising Intersectionality and Sexuality (2010); Classed Intersections: Spaces, Selves, Knowledges (2010); (with Hines, S) Sexualities: Reflection and Futures (2012).
Ria Snowdon is a Research Associate in the Weeks Centre for Social and Policy Research at London South Bank University, UK working alongside Yvette Taylor on an ESRC funded project 'Making space for queer identifying religious youth'. She completed her Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) PhD at Newcastle University (2007-2010).
"The book sets itself the certainly difficult but fascinating task of combining what has been so far discussed as largely antagonistic categories – religion and sexual orientation. It does so eloquently, fulfilling a gap in the academic literature, as well as responding to a political and ethical need to engage with difference and intersections along the complex spectrum of identity." – Ana Cristina Santos, University of Coimbra, Portugal
"The social and spatial accommodation of both religious and sexual identities has become a significant political flashpoint for societies and their governments in the contemporary West and beyond. This important collection addresses the intersections of religious and sexual identities for individuals, religious institutions, and socio-legal systems. Collectively, the chapters explore these intersections across a breadth of belief systems and geographical contexts. The authors ask vital questions about methodologies, institutions, locations and intersecting affirmations. This collection will be of interest to scholars, teachers, students and policy-makers concerned with understanding the varied landscapes, tensions and accommodations arising from the intersections of religion and sexuality." – Andrew Gorman-Murray, University of Western Sydney, Australia