1st Edition

Religion and LGBTQ Sexualities Critical Essays

By Stephen Hunt Copyright 2015

    This compiled and edited collection engages with a theme which is increasingly attracting scholarly attention, namely, religion and LGBTQ sexuality. Each section of the volume provides perspectives to understanding academic discourse and wide-ranging debates around LGBTQ sexualities and religion and spirituality. The collection also draws attention to aspects of religiosity that shape the lived experiences of LGBTQ people and shows how sexual orientation forges dimensions of faith and spirituality. Taken together the essays represent an exploration of contestations around sexual diversity in the major religions; the search of sexual minorities for spiritual ’safe spaces’ in both established and new forms of religiosity; and spiritual paths formed in reconciling and expressing faith and sexual orientation. This collection, which features contributions from a number of disciplines including sociology, anthropology, psychology, history, religious studies and theology, provides an indispensable teaching resource for educators and students in an era when LGBTQ topics are increasingly finding their way onto numerous undergraduate, post-graduate and profession orientated programmes.

    Contents: Preface; Introduction. Part I Discourses and Discontents: The centrality of marriage: homosexuality and the Roman Catholic argument, James P. Hanigan; Homosexuality and the construction of ‘Anglican Orthodoxy’: the symbolic politics of the Anglican Communion, Christopher Craig Brittain and Andrew McKinnon; Towards a queer dharmology of sex, Roger Corless; The politics of counter-rejection: gay Christians and the church, Andrew K.T. Yip; Doing queer theology in The Garden: Derek Jarman and Christianity, Stephen Carr. Part II Managing the Queer Self in Conventional Christianity: ‘Abomination’ - life as a Bible Belt gay, Bernadette Barton; Negotiating a religious identity: the case of the gay Evangelical, Scott Thumma; ‘Fag church’: men who integrate gay and Christian identities, Gerald Walton; ‘The priest obviously doesn’t know that I’m gay’: the religious and spiritual journeys of Latino gay men, Dalia I. García, Jennifer Gray-Stanley and Jesus Ramirez-Valles; Homophobia, hypermasculinity and the US black church, Elijah G. Ward; The gift (?) that dare not speak its name: exploring the influence of sexuality on the professional performances of gay male Anglican clergy, Michael Keenan; Identities within identities: queering the priestly woman, Gayle R. Baldwin. Part III Managing the Queer Self in Judaism and Islam: Being gay and Jewish: negotiating intersecting identities, Randal F. Schnoor; Between ‘being’ and ‘doing’: conflict and coherence in the identity formation of gay and lesbian Orthodox Jews, Tova Hartman Halbertal with Irit Koren; Bridging the divide: integrating lesbian identity and Orthodox Judaism, Judith M. Glassgold; The quest for intimate/sexual citizenship: lived experiences of lesbian and bisexual Muslim women, Andrew Kam-Tuck Yip; ‘I don't want to taint the name of Islam’: the influence of religion on the lives of Muslim lesbians, Asifa Siraj; Between religion and desire: being Muslim and gay in Indonesia, Tom Boellstorff; ‘Out to get us’: queer Muslims and the clash of sexual civilisations in Australia, Ibrahim Abraham. Part IV LGBTQ Affirming Environments: The homosexual subculture at worship: a participant observation study, Paul F. Bauer; ‘The inherent worth and dignity’: gay Unitarians and the birth of sexual tolerance in liberal religion, Mark Oppenheimer; The homosexual church: an ecclesiastical extension of a subculture, Ronald M. Enroth; Observations on the corporate culture of a gay and lesbian congregation, W. Bernard Lukenbill; Gay and lesbian Christians: homosexual and religious identity integration in the members and participants of a gay-positive church, Eric M. Rodriguez and Suzanne C. Ouellette; Identity experience among progressive gay Muslims in North America: a qualitative study within Al-Fatiha, Omar Minwalla, B.R. Simon Rosser, Jamie Feldman and Christine Varga; A new generation of lesbian Jewish activism, Rebecca E. Margolis. Part V ‘Fringe’ Religiosity: Calamus in Bolton: spirituality and homosexual desire in late Victorian England, Harry Cocks; Queering the Dragonfest: changing sexualities in a post-patriarchal religion, Mary Jo Neitz; When Pan met Wendy: gendered membership debates among the radical faeries, John A. Stover; New Age spiritualities: Findhorn and the sexual self, Kath Browne with Elizabeth Dinnie; Angels and the dragon king's daughter: gender, sexuality in Western Buddhist new religious movements, Sally R. Munt and Sharon E. Smith; Is it meaningful to speak of ‘queer spirituality’? An examination of queer and LGBT imagery and themes in contemporary Paganism and Christianity, Yvonne Aburrow. Part VI Spiritual Paths: Queer theologies as transgressive metaphors: new paradigms for hybrid sexual theologies, Robert E. Goss; A queer kind of faith: religion and spirituality in lesbian, gay and bisexual New Zealanders, Mark Henrickson; When Sheila’s a lesbian: religious individualism among lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Christians, Melissa M. Wilcox; Queering the sacred: discourses of gay male spiritual writing, Donald L. Boisvert; A bisexual feminist spirituality, Barbara Gibson; Faith-based queer space in Washington, DC: the Metropolitan Community Church-DC and Mount Vernon Square, Jenell Williams Paris and Rory E. Anderson. Name index.


    Stephen Hunt is Associate Professor in Sociology at the University of the West of England, UK.