Transgender Theology

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

Althaus-Reid, Marcella and Lisa Isherwood (eds.) (2009), Trans/Formations, London: SCM Press

Beardsley, Christina (2005), “Taking Issue: The Transsexual Hiatus in Some Issues in Human Sexuality”, Theology 58.845, 338-346

Beardsley, a healthcare chaplain, critiques the Church of England’s account of transgender in Some Issues in Human Sexuality, including an apparent lack of engagement with recent psychological and medical literature, and an absence of consultation with transgender people.

Beardsley, Christina (2007), “The Transsexual Person is my Neighbour: Pastoral Guidelines for Christian Clergy, Pastors and Congregations (with an Appendix on Intersex by Michelle O’Brien)”, Brighton: Gender Trust

Cornwall, Susannah (2009), “‘State of Mind’ versus ‘Concrete Set of Facts’: The Contrasting of Transgender and Intersex in Church Documents on Sexuality”, Theology and Sexuality 15.1, 7-28

Cornwall, Susannah (2009), “Apophasis and Ambiguity: The ‘Unknowingness’ of Transgender”, in Althaus-Reid, Marcella and Lisa Isherwood (eds.), Trans/Formations, London: SCM Press, 13-40

Himschoot, Malcolm (2009), “Action and Reflection: One Pastor’s Method of Creating Trans Day of Remembrance Liturgy”, in Althaus-Reid, Marcella and Lisa Isherwood (eds.), Trans/Formations, London: SCM Press, 139-147

Hipsher, B.K. (2009), “God is a Many Gendered Thing: An Apophatic Journey to Pastoral Diversity”, in Althaus-Reid, Marcella and Lisa Isherwood (eds.), Trans/Formations, London: SCM Press, 92-104

Holder, Rodney (1998a), “The Ethics of Transsexualism, Part 1: The Transsexual Condition and the Biblical Background to an Ethical Response”, Crucible 37.2, 89-99

Holder, Rodney (1998b), “The Ethics of Transsexualism, Part 2: A Christian Response to the Issues Raised”, Crucible 37.3, 125-136

Kolakowski, Victoria S. (1997), “Toward a Christian Ethical Response to Transsexual Persons”, Theology and Sexuality 6, 10-31. doi:10.1177/135583589700300602

Mann, Rachel (2012), Dazzling Darkness: Gender, Sexuality, Illness and God, Glasgow: Wild Goose Publications

This autobiographical account draws on Mann’s own experience of gender transition and its implications for her ministry as a Church of England priest. It also includes reflection on the integration of gender identity with other aspects of personhood, embodiment and vocation. 

McCall Tigert, L. and Tirabassi, M.C. (eds.). (2004). Transgendering Faith: Identity, Sexuality and Spirituality. Cleveland, OH: Pilgrim Press.

Mollenkott, Virginia Ramey (2009), “We Come Bearing Gifts: Seven Lessons Religious Congregations Can Learn From Transpeople”, in Althaus-Reid, Marcella and Lisa Isherwood (eds.), Trans/Formations, London: SCM Press, 46-58

Nausner, Michael (2002), “Toward Community beyond Gender Binaries: Gregory of Nyssa’s Transgendering as Part of his Transformative Eschatology”, Theology and Sexuality 16, 55-65. doi:10.1177/135583580200801606

O’Donovan, Oliver (1982), Transsexualism and Christian Marriage, Nottingham: Grove Books

This thoughtful and considered account of the implications of transgender for marriage is situated in O’Donovan’s evangelical theological context. He clearly sets out some theological objections to gender transition and sex reassignment surgery, arguing that such surgery may go beyond the bounds of what it is legitimate for humans to do with their God-given bodies.

Quero, Martín Hugo Córdova (2008), “This Body Trans/Forming Me: Indecencies in Transgender/Intersex Bodies, Body Fascism and the Doctrine of the Incarnation”, in Althaus-Reid, Marcella and Lisa Isherwood (eds.), Controversies in Body Theology, London: SCM Press, 80-128

Reay, Lewis (2009), “Towards a Transgender Theology: Que(e)rying the Eunuchs”, in Althaus-Reid, Marcella and Lisa Isherwood (eds.), Trans/Formations, London: SCM Press, 148-167

Savage, Helen (2006) “Changing Sex?: Transsexuality and Christian Theology”, PhD thesis, University of Durham. Available at Durham E-Theses Online:

Sheridan, Vanessa (2001), Crossing Over: Liberating the Transgender Christian, Cleveland, OH: Pilgrim Press

Tanis, Justin (2003), Trans-Gendered: Theology, Ministry, and Communities of Faith, Cleveland, OH: Pilgrim Press

Watts, Fraser (2002), “Transsexualism and the Church”, Theology and Sexuality 9.1, 63-85. doi:10.1177/135583580200900105

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