Queer Theology

The following books and resources may prove useful for theological educators, clergy, theology students and others interested in the study of queer theology.

Althaus-Reid, Marcella (2000), Indecent Theology, London and New York: Routledge

In this challenging book, the much-missed Althaus-Reid argues that sex, politics, economics and God are deeply intertwined, and that theologies too preoccupied with sexual “decency” might miss the bigger picture of justice. All theology is sexual, argues Althaus-Reid – it’s just that we often don’t recognize it as such, or take into account alliances between theological and sexual “empires”. With profound challenges for both mainstream Western Christian theologies and for Latin American liberation theologies, this book sets up much of Althaus-Reid’s subsequent work.

Althaus-Reid, Marcella (2003), The Queer God, London and New York: Routledge

Althaus-Reid, Marcella (2004), From Feminist Theology to Indecent Theology: Readings on Poverty, Sexual Identity and God, London: SCM Press

Althaus-Reid, Marcella (ed.) (2006), Liberation Theology and Sexuality, Aldershot: Ashgate

Althaus-Reid, Marcella and Lisa Isherwood (2007), “Thinking Theology and Queer Theory”, Feminist Theology 15.3 (2007), 302-314

Amy-Chinn, Dee (2009), “Is Queer Biology a Useful Tool for Queer Theology?”, Theology and Sexuality 15.1 (2009), 49-63

Aune, Kristin (2009), “Between Subordination and Sympathy: Evangelical Christians, Masculinity and Gay Sexuality”, in Hunt, Stephen (ed.) (2009), Contemporary Christianity and LGBT Sexualities, Farnham: Ashgate, 39-49

Balboa, Jaime Ronaldo (2003), “The Word Made Queer: Implications for a Liberationist Imago Dei”, PhD thesis, Graduate Theological Union (Berkeley, CA)

Bohache, Thomas (2003), “Embodiment as Incarnation: An Incipient Queer Christology”, Theology and Sexuality 10.1 (2003), 9-29

Bohache, Thomas (2008), Christology From the Margins, London: SCM Press

Burrus, Virginia (2001), “Queer Lives of Saints: Jerome’s Hagiography”, Journal of the History of Sexuality 10.3/4, 442-479

Burrus, Virginia (2007), “Queer Father: Gregory of Nyssa and the Subversion of Identity”, in Loughlin, Gerard (ed.) (2007), Queer Theology: Rethinking the Western Body, Oxford: Blackwell, 147-162

Carrette, Jeremy (2004), “Beyond Theology and Sexuality: Foucault, the Self and the Que(e)rying of Monotheistic Truth”, in Bernauer, James William and Jeremy R. Carrette (eds.) (2004), Michel Foucault and Theology: The Politics of Religious Experience, Aldershot: Ashgate, 217-232

Chávez, Karma R. (2008), “Breaking Trances and Engaging the Erotic: The Search for a Queer Spirituality”, Liminalities: A Journal of Performance Studies 4.2 (2008), 1-16

Cheng, Patrick S. (2011), Radical Love: An Introduction to Queer Theology, New York, NY: Seabury Books

This is a crystal-clear and user-friendly introduction to queer theology, situating it in the context of constructive Christian theologies from Scripture, tradition, reason and experience. With questions, exercises, prompts and ideas for further reading, this short and accessible introductory book is ideal for group or individual study.

Cheng, Patrick S. (2012), From Sin to Amazing Grace: Discovering the Queer Christ, New York, NY: Seabury Books

Cheng, Patrick S. (2013), Rainbow Theology: Bridging Race, Sexuality, and Spirit, New York, NY: Seabury Books

Clark, J. Michael (1989), A Place to Start: Toward an Unapologetic Gay Liberation Theology, Dallas, TX: Monument Press

Clark, J. Michael (1997), Defying the Darkness: Gay Theology in the Shadows, Cleveland, OH: Pilgrim Press

Comstock, Gary David (1993), Gay Theology Without Apology, Cleveland, OH: Pilgrim Press

Comstock, Gary David (2001), A Whosoever Church: Welcoming Lesbians and Gay Men Into African American Congregations, Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press

Comstock, Gary David and Susan E. Henking (eds.) (1997), Que(e)rying Religion: A Critical Anthology, New York, NY: Continuum

Cornwall, Susannah (2010), “Stranger in our Midst: The Becoming of the Queer God in the Theology of Marcella Althaus-Reid”, in Isherwood, Lisa and Mark D. Jordan (eds.) (2010), Dancing Theology in Fetish Boots: Essays in Honour of Marcella Althaus-Reid, London: SCM Press, 95-112

Cornwall, Susannah (2011), Controversies in Queer Theology, London: SCM Press

This book gives an overview of major discussions in queer theology since the late 1980s, and shows how queer theologies have developed from and situated themselves in conversation with lesbian and gay theologies. The book focuses on areas of tension and dissent: for example, is “queer” just a white Western preoccupation that’s of little use in the majority world? Are queer theologies just about sex, or do they have broader implications? Can the Christian theological tradition meaningfully be called queer? Given Christianity’s poor track record on justice and inclusion for queer people, why would queer people want to have anything to do with Christianity at all?  

D’Costa, Gavin (2007), “Queer Trinity”, in Loughlin, Gerard (ed.) (2007a), Queer Theology: Rethinking the Western Body, Oxford: Blackwell, 269-280

DiNovo, Cheri (2007), “Queer Theology, Queer Evangelism”, Doctor of Ministry Thesis, Toronto School of Theology (Ontario, Canada)

Edwards, Malcolm (1997), “God”, in Stuart, Elizabeth (ed.) (1997), Religion is a Queer Thing: A Guide to the Christian Faith for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered People, London: Cassell, 67-75

Evans, Amie M. and Trebor Healey (eds.) (2008), Queer and Catholic, New York, NY: Routledge

Gallagher, Lowell, Frederick S. Roden and Patricia Juliana Smith (eds.) (2007), Catholic Figures, Queer Narratives, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan

Garrigan, Siobhán (2009), “Queer Worship”, Theology and Sexuality 15.2 (2009), 211-230

A gem of an essay which pays close attention to the potential of queer theology for liturgy and worshipping communities. Do queer people need special liturgies to celebrate their life events, or does developing distinctively queer rites of passage tend to stereotype and ghettoize queer people? How do you handle singing in parts if not everyone in the congregation identifies as a man or a woman? Is Christian liturgy queer by definition anyway?

Gearhart, Sally and William R. Johnson (eds.) (1974), Loving Women / Loving Men: Gay Liberation and the Church, San Francisco, CA: Glide Publications

Gerber, Lynne (2008), “The Opposite of Gay: Nature, Creation, and Queerish Ex-Gay Experiments”, Nova Religio 11.4 (May 2008), 8-30

Gill, Sean (ed.) (1998), The Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement: Campaigning for Justice, Truth and Love, London and New York: Cassell

A great collection which gives some historical orientation on the development of LGCM, formerly GCM. The volume also contains some reflection on the relationship between gay theology and queer theology.

Goss, Robert E. (1993), Jesus Acted Up: A Gay and Lesbian Manifesto, San Francisco, CA: HarperSanFrancisco

Goss, Robert E. (1998), “Sexual Visionaries and Freedom Fighters for a Sexual Reformation: From Gay Theology to Queer Sexual Theologies”, in Gill, Sean (ed.) (1998), The Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement: Campaigning for Justice, Truth and Love, London and New York: Cassell, 187-202

Goss, Robert E. (2002), Queering Christ: Beyond Jesus Acted Up, Cleveland, OH: Pilgrim Press

Goss, Robert E. and Amy Adams Squire Strongheart (eds.) (1997), Our Families, Our Values: Snapshots of Queer Kinship, Binghampton, NY: The Haworth Press

Hilliard, David (1982), “Unenglish and Unmanly: Anglo-Catholism and Homosexuality”, Victorian Studies 25 (Winter 1982), 181-210

Hinkle, Christopher (2007), “Love’s Urgent Longings: St John of the Cross”, in Loughlin, Gerard (ed.) (2007), Queer Theology: Rethinking the Western Body, Oxford: Blackwell, 188-199

Hollywood, Amy (2007), “Queering the Beguines: Mechthild of Magdeburg, Hadewijch of Anvers, Marguerite Porete”, in Loughlin, Gerard (ed.) (2007), Queer Theology: Rethinking the Western Body, Oxford: Blackwell, 163-175

Hunt, Mary E. (1996), “Theology, Queer”, in Russell, Letty M. and J. Shannon Clarkson (eds.) (1996), Dictionary of Feminist Theologies, Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 298-299

Hunt, Stephen (ed.) (2009), Contemporary Christianity and LGBT Sexualities, Farnham: Ashgate

This sociological collection draws on recent social-scientific studies and includes research on topics including: how gay male Anglican clergy understand their sexuality as influencing their professional performances; how evangelical Christians construct discourses of masculinity and homosexuality; the experiences of bisexual and transgender Christians; spiritual direction for LGBT people; and much more. A great resource for theologians who want to situate their theological reflection in real-world experience.

Isherwood, Lisa and Marcella Althaus-Reid (2004), “Queering Theology”, in Althaus-Reid, Marcella and Lisa Isherwood (eds.) (2004), The Sexual Theologian: Essays on Sex, God and Politics, London and New York: T&T Clark, 1-15

Jantzen, Grace M. (2001), “Contours of a Queer Theology”, Literature and Theology 15.3 (2001), 276-285

Jantzen, Grace M. (2007), “‘Promising Ashes’: A Queer Language of Life”, in Loughlin, Gerard (ed.) (2007), Queer Theology: Rethinking the Western Body, Oxford: Blackwell, 245-254

Jordan, Mark D. (1997), The Invention of Sodomy in Christian Theology, Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press

Jordan, Mark D. (2007a), “Religion Trouble”, GLQ 13.4, 563-575

Jordan, Mark D. (2007b), “God’s Body”, in Loughlin, Gerard (ed.) (2007a), Queer Theology: Rethinking the Western Body, Oxford: Blackwell, 281-292

Kornegay, E.L. Jr. (2004), “Queering Black Homophobia: Black Theology as a Sexual Discourse of Transformation”, Theology and Sexuality 11.1 (2004), 29-51

Leech, Kenneth (1988), “Beyond Gin and Lace”, in Beck, Ashley and Ros Hunt (eds.) (1988), Speaking Love’s Name; Homosexuality: Some Catholic and Socialist Perspectives, London: Jubilee Group, online at http://www.anglocatholicsocialism.org/lovesname.html

Loughlin, Gerard (ed.) (2007), Queer Theology: Rethinking the Western Body, Oxford: Blackwell

This creative and robust collection reflects queerly on various aspects of the Christian tradition, including doctrines of the Trinity, Mary and the saints; figures such as Thomas Aquinas, Gregory of Nyssa and Hans Urs von Balthasar; sacramental and ecclesiological themes; and accounts of love. This is a distinctly academic book, with relatively little focus given to queer people’s experience, but a clear emphasis on “rehabilitating” and rediscovering the queerness “hidden” in unexpected parts of the tradition.  

Loughlin, Gerard (2008), “What is Queer? Theology After Identity”, Theology and Sexuality 14.2, 143-152

Lowe, Mary Elise (2009), “Gay, Lesbian, and Queer Theologies: Origins, Contributions, and Challenges”, Dialog 48.1 (March 2009), 49-61

Macourt, Malcolm (ed.) (1977), Towards a Theology of Gay Liberation, London: SCM Press

Marin, Andrew (2009), Love Is an Orientation: Elevating the Conversation with the Gay Community, Nottingham: Inter-Varsity Press

McNeill, John J. (1976), The Church and the Homosexual, Boston, MA: Beacon Press

O’Malley, Patrick R. (2006), Catholicism, Sexual Deviance, and Victorian Gothic Culture, New York, NY: Cambridge University Press

Perry, Troy (1972), The Lord is my Shepherd and He Knows I’m Gay: The Autobiography of the Rev. Troy D. Perry, with Lucas, Charles L., Los Angeles, CA: Nash Publishing

Troy Perry, founder of the Metropolitan Community Church, describes the early part of his journey and his vision for a church where everyone, including lesbian and gay people, would be treated with love, respect and welcome.

Petrella, Ivan (2006), “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy: The Making Over of Liberation Theology, A Queer Discursive Approach”, in Althaus-Reid, Marcella (ed.) (2006b), Liberation Theology and Sexuality, Aldershot: Ashgate, 33-49

Roden, Frederick S. (ed.) (2009), Jewish/Christian/Queer: Crossroads and Identities, Aldershot: Ashgate

Rudy, Kathy (1996), “Queer Theory and Feminism”, in Clark, J. Michael and Robert E. Goss (eds.) (1996), A Rainbow of Religious Studies, Las Colinas, TX: Monument Press, 81-101

Rudy, Kathy (1997), Sex and the Church: Gender, Homosexuality, and the Transformation of Christian Ethics, Boston, MA: Beacon Press

Schippert, Claudia (1999), “Too Much Trouble? Negotiating Feminist and Queer Approaches in Religion”, Theology and Sexuality 11 (1999), 44-63

Schippert, Claudia (2005), “Queer Theory and the Study of Religion”, Revista de Estudos da Religião (REVER) 4, 90-99

Schneider, Laurel C. (2000), “Homosexuality, Queer Theory, and Christian Theology”, Religious Studies Review 26.1 (Jan 2000), 3-12

This extremely helpful review essay traces some of the affinities and tensions between secular queer theory and its uses in a Christian theological context. 

Sheffield, Tricia (2008), “Performing Jesus: A Queer Counternarrative of Embodied Transgression”, Theology and Sexuality 14.3, 233-258

Shore-Goss, Robert, Thomas Bohache, Patrick S. Cheng and Mona West (eds.) (2013), Queering Christianity: Finding a Place at the Table for LGBTQI Christians, Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger

Spencer, Daniel T. (2004), “Lesbian and Gay Theologies”, in De La Torre, Miguel A. (ed.) (2004), Handbook of US Theologies of Liberation, St Louis, MO: Chalice Press, 264-273

Stuart, Elizabeth (1993), Chosen: Gay Catholic Priests Tell Their Stories, London: Geoffrey Chapman

This groundbreaking book draws on responses from four Roman Catholic priests and three seminarians, all of whom identified as gay. It includes their reflection on the Roman Catholic church’s teaching on homosexuality, their journeys to self-acceptance, and their varying experiences with relation to celibacy. 

Stuart, Elizabeth (1995), Just Good Friends: Towards a Lesbian and Gay Theology of Relationships, London: Mowbray

Stuart, Elizabeth (ed.) (1997a), Religion is a Queer Thing: A Guide to the Christian Faith for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered People, London: Cassell

Stuart, Elizabeth (1997b), “Sex in Heaven: The Queering of Theological Discourse on Sexuality”, in Davies, Jon and Gerard Loughlin (eds.) (1997), Sex These Days: Essays on Theology, Sexuality, and Society, Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 184-204

Stuart, Elizabeth (2003), Gay and Lesbian Theologies: Repetitions with Critical Difference, Aldershot: Ashgate

Stuart, Elizabeth (2004), “Queering Death”, in Althaus-Reid, Marcella and Lisa Isherwood (eds.) (2004), The Sexual Theologian: Essays on God, Sex and Politics, London: T&T Clark, 58-70

Stuart, Elizabeth (2007), “Sacramental Flesh”, in Loughlin, Gerard (ed.) (2007), Queer Theology: Rethinking the Western Body, Oxford: Blackwell, 65-75

Sweasey, Peter (1997), From Queer to Eternity: Spirituality in the Lives of Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual People, London and Washington: Cassell

Swicegood, Thomas L.P. (1974), Our God Too, New York, NY: Pyramid Books

Vasey, Michael (1995), Strangers and Friends: A New Exploration of Homosexuality and the Bible, London: Hodder and Stoughton

Webster, Alison (1995), Found Wanting: Women, Christianity and Sexuality, London: Cassell

Webster, Alison (1998), “Queer to be Religious: Lesbian Adventures Beyond the Christian/Post-Christian Dichotomy”, Theology and Sexuality 8 (1998), 27-39

Wilson, Nancy (1995), Our Tribe: Queer Folks, God, Jesus, and the Bible, San Francisco, CA: HarperSanFrancisco

Wilson, Nancy (2000), Our Tribe: Queer Folks, God, Jesus, and the Bible, Millennium Edition: Updated and Revised, Tajique, NM: Alamo Square Press

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