Monday, 27 July 2009

RUDY: Sex and the Church

Sex and the Church
Gender, Homosexuality, and the Transformation of the Church

"Sex and the Church is a groundbreaking book that brings lesbian and gay theory and experience to bear on questions of sexuality and its relationship to Christian life. Ethicist Kathy Rudy begins by showing how the Christian Right's campaign for "family values" has profoundly shaped American debates about gender and sexuality, and how mainline Protestant denominations have responded by focusing narrowly on questions of inclusion and exclusion, rights and privileges for lesbians and gay men. She then moves the debate onto a new level, drawing on queer theory and the lives of gay and lesbian Christians to answer new questions: Are gender and sexual orientation categories by which we should define ourselves and judge each other? Is the nuclear family the best site for Christian commitment? What is the purpose of sex, and what does it have to do with God? And what kind of intimate relationships best contribute to the formation of Christian community?"

For an excellent review, see "Queering Church, Churching Queers", (Crosscurrents, March 22 1999), reproduced on-line at the Free Library. (Paired with a review of Elisabeth Stuart, "Religion is a Queer Thing")

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