Friday, 7 August 2009

GOSS: Queering Christ

Goss, Robert


Beyond Jesus Acted Up

In his latest book, Goss compiles a decade of his writing as a queer Christian theologian and shares his queering of four areas: sexuality, the Christ, the Bible, and theology, which form the quadrants of his own spirituality that aim at the queer reconstruction of Christianity and reflect a life that aims to integrate the depths of spirituality and sexuality with a practice of justice. Many aspects of the work are guaranteed to be highly controversial in both the LGBT and straight communities.

"Despite its provocative and militant title, Queering Christ is a discursus on the nature of theology as an academic discipline within the field of queer theory and not a call to despoil the Christian religion or a revelation of new clues to the sex life of Jesus. Though, in fact, it does contain elements of both-including some interesting hints into the practice of nude baptism.

Robert Goss is a former Jesuit priest. Accounts of his experience in Catholic religious life weave in and out of his presentation. He's left the order, but he remains clearly a professional religionist. He is chair of the Department of Religious Studies at Webster University in St. Louis and practices his priestly ministry now through MCC, not the Roman Catholic Church. With a doctorate in theology from Harvard, he is clearly a well-trained academic. This turns out to be both a strength and a weakness of the book: Goss speaks authoritatively and brilliantly about his subject, but the scholarly nomenclature of postmodern queer theory demands close attention by the reader-and, sometimes, the ability to decipher the in-house jargon of the academy-in order to understand what it means. "

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