This book enters a new liminal space between the LGBTQ and denominational Christian communities. It simultaneously explores how those who identify as queer can find a home in church and how those leading welcoming, or indeed unwelcoming, congregations can better serve both communities. The primary argument is that queer inclusion must not merely mean an assimilation into existing heteronormative respectability and approval.
Chapters are written by a diverse collection of Asian, Latin American, and U.S. theologians, religious studies scholars and activists. Each of them writes from their own social context to address the notion of LGBTQ alternative orthodoxies and praxes pertaining to God, the saints, failure of the church, queer eschatologies, and erotic economies. Engaging with issues that are not only faced by those in the theological academy, but also by clergy and congregants, the book addresses those impacted by a history of Christian hostility and violence who have become suspicious of attempts at "acceptance". It also sets out an encouragement for queer theologians and clergy think deeply about how they form communities where queer perspectives are proactively included.
This is a forward-looking and positive vision of a more inclusive theology and ecclesiology. It will, therefore, appeal to scholars of Queer Theology and Religious Studies as well as practitioners seeking a fresh perspective on church and the LGBTQ community.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Angels in Human Drag: Alternative Queer Orthodoxies
Robert E. Shore-Goss
1 Towards Radical Inclusion
Yap Kim Hao
2 Queer Church: Failure and Becoming in the Body of Christ
3 Songsang, Confessions, and Theologizings of Divine Lavishness
Joseph N. Goh
4 Nahum Zenil: "The Virgin Mary Became My Mother"
5 Queering Ecclesial Authority with Mechthild of Magdeburg: A Roman Catholic Perspective
6 Discovering the Missing Body: Incarnational Inclusivity
Robert E. Shore-Goss
7 Queering Violent Scenes: A Eucharistic Interpretation of BDSM
Bryan Mok and Pearl Wong
8 Unfaithful Noxious Sexuality: Body, Incarnation, and Ecclesiology in Dispute
Hugo Córdova Quero
9 Deafinitely Different: Seeing Deafness, Deaf and Healing in the Bible from Deaf Perspectives
Kristine C. Meneses
10 Gay Eschatology: A Postsecular Rethinking of Christian and "Asian Values" Metanarratives in Singapore’s Contexts
Agnes Hanying Ong
11 Embodied Sexual Eschatology: Escaping the Cage and Dreaming a World of Desire and Longing
Afterword: Erotic Dreams, Theology and the Word-(Re)Made-Flesh
Joseph N. Goh
Robert E. Shore-Goss is a retired UCC clergy/theologian. He is the author of multiple books including, God is Green (2016) and Dead But Not Lost (2005). He has also co-edited several books such as, Queering Christianity (2013), The Queer Bible Commentary (2006) and Gay Catholic Priests and Clerical Sexual Misconduct (2005).
Joseph N. Goh is a Lecturer in Gender Studies at the School of Arts and Social Sciences, Monash University Malaysia. His research interests include queer and LGBTI studies; human rights and sexual health issues; and diverse theological and religious studies research. He is the author of Living Out Sexuality and Faith (2018), and co-editor of Queering Migrations Towards, From, and Beyond Asia (2014). His personal website is at http://josephgoh.org.
The future church’s vitality will unfold on the other side of deconstructed colonial, patriarchal, and hetero-normative orthodoxies. Inspired by a Holy Spirit who is investing Herself in the calling of leaders too long excluded by those orthodoxies, Queer theologians are finding their voice. They are a source of new life, relevance and vitality the Spirit will no longer sideline, and whom the Church now ignores at its own peril. This anthology breathes air into the lungs of a Church being newly birthed, a Church dependent on queered assumptions, praxis, liturgy, theology, and ecclesiology: it delivers on all of that.
Rev. Dr. John Dorhauer, President and General Minister, United Church of Christ
The Church was again left behind society in 2019. The United Methodist Church voted to uphold its ban on same-sex marriage and LGBT clergy in February, while Taiwan became the first Asian country to legalize same-sex marriage in May. Why is God being pitched against sex between two loving individuals because they are not a man and a woman? This volume weaves together the most important spiritual and theological resources to decipher divine justice for our LGBTQ sisters and brothers. It is the most powerful declaration of God's love for them as much as their love for God.
Wong Wai Ching Angela, Vice President for Programs, United Board, and Honorary Professor, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Dive into this cascade of queer theologies with abandon. Appreciate the variety of starting points, the range of conclusions. Let imagination and the arts, play and sex instruct the one body we are about our multiple desires. Then speak of the divine with more insight and of creation with more care.
Mary E. Hunt, Co-Director, Women’s Alliance for Theology, Ethics and Ritual (WATER)
This collection of well-written essays on ecclesiology, eschatology, hagiography, and incarnational theologies demonstrates brilliantly the editor’s claim that "queer theologies are at their best when they are directed beyond academic discussion to transformative praxis with the aim to reveal new economies of grace to queer folks in dis/graceful contexts..." ( "Introduction.") These essays offer a wealth of original theological insights that are at once transgressive, provocative, inclusive, and life-saving. If only all contemporary Christian theological writing, whether explicitly queer or not, were this good!
Bernard Schlager, Associate Professor of Historical and Cultural Studies, Pacific School of Religion
Executive Director, The Center for LGBTQ and Gender Studies in Religion (CLGS)