The Journey Writes about Elevator Speeches and Testimonies

August 14, 2006

Over at the blog The Journey Lizard Eater writes about how UUs might want to think more about developing a testimony rather than using our so-called elevator speeches. I won’t repeat her whole post and just say it is good and I think you should read it. And it just reinfornces what I’ve been saying for a while that we need to pay more attention to the way conservative Christianity is winning the hearts and minds of this country (and souls, if you will) by appealing to feelings and emotions. Reason just ain’t gonna do it, folks.

Queer Theology Bibliography

August 13, 2006

This bibliography has a Christian slant. I am unfamiliar with scholarship on queer theology in other traditions, although I am quite sure it is available to some degree. Also, some of these books do not have a religious slant but are relevant to understanding or developing queer theology. And you will notice that this is only partially annotated. It is a work in progress and obviously not comprehensive. There are probably still some typos, which I will eventually get to. Please feel free to offer feedback.

Queer Theology Bibliography
*Do not reproduce bibliography in full, or reproduce annotations at all, without acknowledgment. Permission to reproduce with acknowledgment granted.

Alexander, Marilyn Bennett and Preston, James. We Were Baptized Too: Claiming God’s Grace for Lesbians and Gays, Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 1996.

A book that encourages churches to take baptism and communion seriously as tools to promote justice, grace and liberation, particularly in regards to queer identified people.

Althaus-Reid, Marcella María. Indecent Theology: Theological Perversions in Sex, Gender and Politics, London, UK: Routledge, 2000.

Althaus-Reid, Marcella María.The Queer God, London, UK: Routledge, 2003.

Balch, David L., ed.Homosexuality, Science and the “Plain Sense” of Scripture, Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2000.

A collection of essays that seeks to offer a balanced discussion of “the interpretation of the Bible in relation to the morality of homosexual acts and relationships.”Deals primarily with Hebrew Bible texts and Romans. The focal point is that of the Christian church.The contributors span many denominations.

Bird, Phyllis A. “The Bible in Christian Ethical Deliberation: Old Testament Contributions,” in Balch, David L., ed., Homosexuality, Sciences, and the “Plain Sense” of Scripture, Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2000: 142-176.

A systematic analysis of those verses in the Hebrew Bible that have traditionally been understood to say something about male/male and/or female/female sexual intimacy. She also includes “Conclusions and Implications for Contemporary Use,” and draws the conclusion that the texts have little relevance to mutually agreeable sexual intimacy between two men (and, implicitly, two women) in the

Boswell, John. Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality, Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1980.

This is one of the most cited and discussed books on the subject. Although it was written in 1980 and some of Boswell’s claims and interpretations have been shown to be inaccurate, it is still an amazingly helpful resource on the subject. As with many works on this topic, the tone is somewhat self-assured, even on subjects which are far from as clear as Boswell makes them seem. The four parts of the book (Points of Departure, The Christian Tradition, Shifting Fortunes and The Rise of Intolerance) cover a wide range of time periods and sources, including but not limited to Rome, Christian Scripture, Theological Traditions, the Middle Ages, and the two appendices which deal with Lexicography and Saint Paul (1) and Texts and Translations (2).

Boswell, John. Same-Sex Unions in Premodern Europe, New York, NY: Vintage Books, 1994.

Boyarin, Daniel. “Are There Any Jews in the ‘The History of Sexuality’?” Journal of the History of Sexuality, 5, 1995: 333-355.

Brooten, Bernadette J.Love Between Women: Early Christian Responses to Female Homoeroticism, Chicago, IL

The most comprehensive work on female/female relationships in early Christianity. Corrects and alters some of Boswell (1980) and Dover’s (1989) pioneering works about male/male and/or female/female sexual intimacy in early Christianity. Provides detailed study of Romans 1:18-22, perhaps the most comprehensive available.

Brooten, Bernadette. “Patristic Interpretations of Romans 1:26,” in Livingtone, Elizabeth, ed. Studia Patristica, volume 18, Kalamazoo, MI: Cistercian Publishing,1985: 287-291.

Bullough, Vern L.“Homosexuality as Submissive Behavior: Example from Mythology,” Journal of Sex Research, 9, 1973: 283-288.

Brooten, Bernadette. “Response to Reviews of Brooten, Love Between Women, by Ken Stone, Natalie Boymel Kampen, David Halperin, Deirdre Good, and Ann Pellegrini,” GLQ 4, 1998: 606-630.

Brooten, Bernadette. “Paul and the Law: How Complete was the Departure?” The Princeton Seminary Bulletin, Supplementary Issue, 1, 1990: 71-89.

Brooten, Bernadette.”Roundtable Discussion: Lesbianism and Feminist Theology,” Response to Carter Heyward and Mary E. Hunt, Journal of Feminist Studies in Religion 2, 1986: 100f.

Brooten, Bernadette. “Paul’s Views on the Nature of Women and Female Homoeroticism,” in Immaculate and Powerful. Ed. Clarissa Atkinson, Constance Buchanan and Margaret Miles. Boston: Beacon, 1985: 61-87.

Brooten, Bernadette. “Early Christian Women and their Cultural Context: Issues of Method in Historical Reconstruction,” in Feminist Perspectives on Biblical Scholarship. Ed. Adela Yarbro Collins. Chico, CA: Scholars Press, 1985: 66-91.

Brooten, Bernadette.”Women and the Churches in Early Christianity,” Ecumenical Trends 14, 1985: 51-54.

Brooten, Bernadette. “Feminist Perspectives on New Testament Exegesis,” Concilium 138, 1980: 55-61.

Butler, Judith. Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity, New York, NY: Routledge, 1990.

Butler, Judith.Bodies That Matter: On the Discursive Limits of ‘Sex’, New York, NY: Routledge, 1993.

Butler, Judith. Undoing Gender. New York, Routledge, 2004.

Carden, Michael. “Homophobia and Rape in Sodom and Gibeah: A Response to Ken Stone,” Journal for the Study of the Old Testament, 82, March 1999: 85-95.

Critiques Ken Stone’s position that Genesis 19 and Judges 19-21 are references to homosexuality, raising the objection that “homosexuality as interpretive device” for these verses is highly problematic.He goes on to deal with Genesis 19 and Judges 19-21, attempting to detoxify them as queer texts of terror (drawing on Phyllis Trible’s analysis of texts that are “ texts of terror” for women).A particularly interesting and helpful article about the use of “homosexuality” to refer to ancient practices which have very little to do with what most people understand as homosexuality today. Draws out the implicit heterosexism in other writings.

Casteli, Elizabeth. Review of Love Between Women: Early Christian Responses to Female Homoeroticism, Bernadette Brooten, Journal of Biblical Literature, 119(1): 127-129.

Cherry, Kitteredge, and Zalmon Sherwood, eds. Equal Rites: Lesbian And Gay Worship, Ceremonies, And Celebrations, Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 1995.

A collection of liturgy, worship materials, celebrations, and ceremonies designed particularly for people who identify as queer, as well as their pastors, family, and friends.

Clark, Michael. Defying the Darkness: A Gay Theology in the Shadows, Cleveland, OH: Pilgrim, 1997.

Cleaver, Richard. Know My Name: A Gay Liberation Theology, Louisville, KY

A book which deals with the struggles of queer-identified people (although primarily gays and lesbians) in the church in the context of liberation theology. Also deals with “gay” biblical hermeneutics.

Comstock, Gary David, Unrepentant, Self-Affirming, Practicing: Lesbian/Bisexual/Gay People within Organized Religion, New York, NY Continuum, 1996.

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

A diverse array of essays that span multiple faiths, cultures, and ethnicities, that deal with both historical and contemporary non-dominant understandings or forms of sexuality in the context of religion.

Countryman, L. William.Dirt, Greed and Sex: Sexual Ethics in the New Testament and Their Implications for Today, Philadelphia, PA: Fortress, 1988.

Dover, Kenneth.Greek Homosexuality, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1978, 1989.

Dover’s research on Ancient Greek practices and patterns of male/male and/or (although much less so) female/female sexual interaction is still considered by many to be the preeminent work on the subject and is referenced in almost all works that deal with male/male sexual interaction in Ancient Greece.

Dreger, Alice Domurat.Hermaphrodites and the Medical Invention of Sex, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1998.

Edwards, George. “A Critique of Creationist Homophobia,” Journal of Homosexuality, 18 1989-1990: 95-118.

Foucault, Michel. The History of Sexuality: An Introduction, New York, NY: Pantheon Books, 1978.

Fredrickson, David E. “Natural and Unnatural Use in Romans 1:24-27: Paul and the Philosophic Critique of Eros,” in Balch, David L., ed., Homosexuality, Sciences, and the “Plain Sense” of Scripture, Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2000: 197-222.

Furnish, Victor. “The Bible and Homosexuality: Reading the Texts in Context,” Homosexuality in the Church: Both Sides of the Debate, Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 1994: 18-35.

Essay that systematically deals with the parts of the Bible that have traditionally been used to condemn “homosexuality.” Notably, he puts quotes around “homosexuality” to indicate that such an institution did not exist during in biblical times.Some of his philological conclusions are incorrect and/or out of date, and the article tries to cover a lot in a small space. Overall, a very helpful introductory article in dealing with male/male and/or female/female sexuality as referred to in the Bible. Was written after Brooten’s Love Between Women, thus lacks updated information on women/women sexual intimacy in Early Christianity.

Glaser, Chris. Come Home! Reclaiming Spirituality and Community as Gay Men and Lesbians, San Francisco, CA: Harper & Row, 1990.

A non-academic, affirming book that calls “gay men and lesbians” to come home to the church, which, the author argues should be accepting of gay men and lesbians.

Goldberg, Jonathan, ed. Reclaiming Sodom, New York, NY and London, UK: Routledge, 1994.

Good, Deirdre. “The New Testament and Homosexuality: Are We Getting Anywhere?” Religious Studies Review, 26(4), October 2000: 307-312

Goss, Robert. Jesus Acted Up: A Gay And Lesbian Manifesto, New York, NY: HarperCollins, 1993.

Develops a queer liberation theology, focusing on homophobia, queer hermeneutics, God as love-making and justice-doing.

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

Goss, Robert and Mona West, eds.Take Back the Word: A Queer Reading of the Bible, Cleveland, OH: Pilgrim Press, 2000.

Gudorf, Christine E.“The Bible and Science on Sexuality,” in Balch, David L., ed., Homosexuality, Sciences, and the “Plain Sense” of Scripture, Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2000: 121-141.

Halperin, David. One Hundred Years of Homosexuality: and Other Essays on Greek Love. New York: Routledge, 1990

Hanson, K.C. “Blood and Purity in Leviticus and Revelation,” Listening: Journal of Religion and Culture, 28, 1993: 215-230.

Hays, Richard B. “Relations Natural and Unnatural: A Response to John Boswell’s Exegesis of Romans 1,” Journal of Religious Ethics, 14, 1986: 184-215.

Helminiak, Daniel A. What the Bible Really Says About Homosexuality: Recent Findings by Top Scholars Offer a Radical New View, San Francisco, CA: Alamo Square Press, 1994.

Helminiak, Daniel A.“Response: Ethics, Biblical and Denominational: A Response to Mark Smith,” Journal of the American Academy of Religion, 65(4), 1997: 855-859.

Hunter, David. Review of Love Between Women: Early Christian Responses to Female Homoeroticism, Bernadette Brooten, Church History, 68(1): 138-139.

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

Kiernan, Jas. “Responsibility in Sexual Perversion,” The Chicago Medical Recorder, 3, 1892.

Koch, Timothy, “Cruising as Methodology: Homoerotisim and the Scriptures,” in Stone, Ken, ed.,Queer Commentary and the Hebrew Bible, London, UK: Sheffield Academic Press, 2001: 167-180.

Kosofsky Sedgwick, Eve.Epistemology of the Closet, Berkley, CA: University of California Press, 1990.

Lienemann, Wolfgang. “Churches and Homosexuality,” Ecumenical Review 50(1), 2001: 7-21.

Loader, J.A. A Tale of Two Cities: Sodom and Gomorrah in the Old Testament, Early Jewish and Early Christian Traditions, Kampen, The Netherlands: Publishing House J.H. Kok, 1990.

Macourt, Malcolm, ed.Toward a Theology of Gay Liberation, London: SCM Press, 1977.

One of the earlier books on gay liberation theology. It is a collection of essays by men that emerged out of the Student Christian Movement, and at their conference with the same title as the book. The authors are all supportive of the gay liberation movement and seek to contribute to the question, “How should the church respond to two people of the same sex who are in love and feel as though they can better express that love together than apart?”

Martin, Dale. “Arsenokoités and Malakos: Meanings and Consequences,” in Brawley, Robert L., ed., Biblical Ethics & Homosexuality: Listening to Scripture, Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 1996: 117-136.

Martin, Dale. “Heterosexism and the Interpretation of Romans 1: 18-32,” Biblical Interpretation: A Journal of Contemporary Approaches, 3(3), October 1995: 332-355.

McFague, Sallie. The Body of God: An Ecological Theology, Minneapolis, MI: Fortress Press, 1993.

McNeill, John J. Freedom, Glorious Freedom: The Spiritual Journey to the Fullness of Life for Gays, Lesbians, and Everybody Else, Boston, MA: Beacon Press, 1995.

Miller, Neil. Out of the Past: Gay and Lesbian History from 1869 to the Present, New York, NY: Vintage Books, 1995.

Covers over 100 years of gay and lesbian history, with special sections on famous figures and important events.Easy to read; not overly academic.

Mollenkott, Virginia Ramey and Letha Scanzoni, Is The Homosexual My Neighbor? Another Christian View, San Francisco, CA: Harper & Row, 1978.

Olyan, Saul M. “And with a Male You Shall Not Lie the Lying Down of a Woman,” Journal of the History of Sexuality 5, 1994: 179-206.

Schimel, Lawrence, and Carol Queen, eds. Pomosexuals: Challenging Assumptions About Gender and Sexuality. San Francisco, CA: Cleis Press, 1997.

A collection of essays written by those who argue that the hetero/homosexual model of sexuality is inadequate to describe the complex and rich ways in which humans can express sexuality. Essays by women who identify as gay men, transgendered and transsexual persons, as well as many other witty and challenging authors who challenge assumptions about gender and sexuality.

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

Schüssler Fiorenza, Elisabeth. In Memory of Her. A Feminist Theological Reconstruction of Christian Origins, New York, NY: Crossroad, 1983, 1994.

Schüssler Fiorenza, Elisabeth.Rhetoric and Ethic: The Politics of Biblical Studies, Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 1999.

Scroggs, Robin.The New Testament and Homosexuality, Philadelphia, PA: Fortress, 1983.

Sedgwick, Eve Kosofsky.Epistemology of the Closet, Berkley, CA: University of California Press, 1990.

Smith, Abraham.“The New Testament and Homosexuality,” Quarterly Review 11.4, 1991: 18-32.

Stone, Ken, ed. Queer Commentary and the Hebrew Bible, London, UK: Sheffield Academic Press, 2001.

A collection of essays that goes beyond historical-critical analysis of particular verses and ventures into attempts at reading the Hebrew Bible through a queer lens. Includes such essays as: “YHWH as Erastes” (Theodore W. Jennings, Jr), “Cruising as Methodology: Homoeroticism and the Scriptures,” (Timothy R. Koch) and “Violent Femmes and S/M: Queering Samson and Delilah” (Lori Rowlett).

Stuart, Elizabeth and Lisa Isherwood.Introducing Body Theology (Feminist Theology Series), Pilgrim Press, 2000.

Stuart, Elizabeth with Andy Braunston, Malcolm Edwards, John McMahon, and Tim Morrison. Religion is a Queer Thing: A Guide to the Christian Faith for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered People, London, UK: Cassell, 1997.

A book that can be used by a group of people who are dealing with queer issues within the context of Christianity. Although it is designed to be a book to walk the group through meetings and discussion, it is helpful in getting a basic handle on the queer liberation theology movement. Whereas some other books exclude bisexuals or transgender, this book is quite inclusive of both.

Thurston, Thomas M. “Leviticus 18:22 and the Prohibition of Homosexual Acts,” in ed. Stemmeler, Michael L. and Michael Clark, Homophobia and the Judeo-Christian Tradition Dallas, TX: Monument, 1990: 7-23.

Trible, Phyllis. God and the Rhetoric of Sexuality, Minneapolis, MI: Fortress Press, 1978.

Trible, Phyllis. Texts of Terror, London, 1984.

Walsh, Jerome. “Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13: Who Is Doing What to Whom?” Journal for Biblical Literature, 120.2, 2001: 201-209.

An analysis of Lev. 18:22 and 20:13 in light of Saul Olyan’s article in the Journal of the History of Sexuality in 1994. Walsh disputes Olyan’s claim that the first of the two laws is addressed to the active or penetrative partner, instead arguing that they are addressed to the passive partner. Makes clear that he understands 18:22 and 20:13 as purity-related laws, and not ethical ones.

Williams, Robert. Just As I Am: A Practical Guide to Being Out, Proud and Christian, New York, NY: HarperCollins, 1992.

Wilson, Nancy. Out Tribe: Queer Folks, God, Jesus, and the Bible, San Francisco, CA: HarperSanFrancisco, 1995.

White, Mel. Stranger at the Gate: To Be Gay and Christian in America, New York, NY: Simon & Schuster, 1994.

An autobiography of Mel White, the director of Soulforce, a queer Christian liberation organization. Before falling in love with his partner, Ernest, White had previously worked for Billy Graham and Pat Robertson. He argues that “homosexual” orientation should be understood as a gift from God.


August 13, 2006

I have been meaning, every since the start of this blog, to start posting some of my bibliographies on here. Nothing is more helpful to me than to find a bibliography on a particular topic to get me started in a paper or some research. Needless to say that this would be helpful in my current work on purity in evangelical and fundamentalist churches. So the first one will be on queer theology. I’ll make it a separate post so it doesn’t have all this in it for anyone who finds it via a google search. Others will eventually include deliberative democracy, “Exporting” Democracy, ecofeminism and vegetarianism, feminist theology, and Gandhi and vegetarianism. Enjoy. Because I’m sure this is just what you’ve all be waiting for, right?

Who Says You Can’t Publish Your Masters Thesis?

August 13, 2006

Nicole Sotelo, who was part of a small feminist group with me at HDS, and now works for Call to Action, published her masters thesis with Paulist Press. Isn’t that just wonderful!? I just found it randomly while doing another search.

Women Healing from Abuse: Meditations for Finding Peace

Ethical Clothes Shopping

August 10, 2006

On the very day that I read the post by Boy in the Bands on “want[ing] good assurance that the people who make and sell [clothes I buy] receive a fair wage and decent work standard” I went to The Garment District here in Cambridge which is the best second hand store I’ve ever ever been too. BiTB was pointing out Justice Clothing. Do have a look (after you read this).

So I felt a little inspired to write something on ethical clothes shopping, something which, honestly I have always struggled with. 1) Is it ethical to buy things that cost so much? and 2) Is it ethical to buy things made with animal parts (leather, wool, etc.) and 3) Should I boycott all stores that have things made by cheap, sweatshop labor?

The GarmentDistrict has helped to answer some of these questions for me because relatively little gas and energy is used in shipping the clothes (many are local consignments), no new sheep suffer for the wool, no new cows are killed for the leather, and no more workers in poor conditions sweat and toil to make the clothes. By buying second hand, one does not contribute any demand to any of these very sad and harmful things (sheep, cow, worker suffering, and increased energy usage and pollution).

I’ve always loved buying second hand, but it was hard to sort through the clothes at Goodwill to find something wearable, and Poor Little Rich Girl in Davis Square and Second Time Around in Harvard Square can be a little snobby and are quite expensive for second hand stores. Second hand is a great way to spend lots of money on clothes when that money could be put to much better uses (like, say, increasing your pledge to your church or donating to a NGO that helps set up cooperatives in developing countries, etc.). Plus, get this:

At present, The Garment District Inc. processes several million pounds of clothing a year. Much of it purchased from charitable organizations, providing them with sorely needed revenue. As it comes in, the clothing is carefully sorted and categorized. Approximately one piece in thirty is selected, steamed, and tagged for sale in the store. Other useable items are sold through Dollar-A-Pound+. Clothing not stylistically interesting to retail customers is baled and shipped to the developing world for reuse. Items which are unrepairable or soiled are sent to a “shoddy mill” and are ground up for other “post-consumer” uses. Over time The Garment District has also developed a very substantial consignment department, and consignors are always welcome to call. The staff is committed to the mission of being an ethical recycling company which offers “high quality clothing for any taste”.

I don’t know about my regular readers, but I know that if any readers of Beauty Tips for Ministers mosey over here, we are likely to be kindred spirits in that we do like to buy clothes. Both because I like to look sharp in general, and because if I don’t try to look sharp and a little older at my job, I could easily pass for a 17 year old. I know, I know. I will appreciate it when I am older. But when people still ask you what grade you are in when you are an intern minister and a grad student and married, it does wear on you a bit. But back to the point – lots of us like to buy clothes because it is fun to have new stuff to wear and we want a selection. But who can do that with $50 shirts at J. Crew, or, $89 shirts at Ann Taylor? And even if we could, is it ethical to spends so much on clothes when there are such pressing needs that our money could go to? I think we need to ask ourselves about this with our consumption.

Although it does take a little bit more work, you can save tons of money by shopping at a second hand store and do your part for the environment. And, if you try out The Garment District or another place like it (there are also consignment stores specifically for professional clothes), there is enough selection so you don’t get frustrated and decide you must resort to the mall. Even the on-sale stuff at the nicer stores at malls is really quite expensive. And, I’ve really tried to make Old Navy clothes look sharp and professional, but truly they just don’t look as nice. And, again, it contributes more to suffering and exploitation, uses energy getting it from here to there, and helps put more $ in the pockets of big corporations rather than local businesses.

Got other tips for ethical clothes buying? Please share!

p.s. I know some may not be aware of the harm that raising sheep for wool does to the sheep. If you are interested, you can take a look at this. No shocking pictures, just text.

Funny Church Sign – Make Your Own Church Signs

August 9, 2006

Even though I know such quotes have probably been circulated on bad email forwards for years, I still think they are funny, in many ways because churches that are meant (one would think) to do good things for people can end up doing so much harm on so many different levels.

Also, very cool is this site where you can make your own church sign. They don’t have a UU church sign up, but it is still fun if, for instance, you were putting off doing your German translations or studying for the GRE.

I Don’t Believe in Postfeminism

August 6, 2006

In a short little interview with the Andi Zeisler one of the co-founders of the magazine Bitch (a feminist critique of pop culture), the New York Times person (as is typical for the Times and other mainstream publications) asks her about a character on television who “is a more of a postfeminist who instinctively takes control in a world mismanaged by men.” Awesome Andi responds,

“I don’t believe in postfeminism.” And then she goes on to say a little more, but I love it that she just cuts right to the chase and refuses to except that semi-salivatingly said question about the end of feminism (is it finally over?). Dowd does this in the Times too. I get so sick of hearing that because feminism today doesn’t look like feminism of the 70s, it must not really be feminism. Women must finally be liberated now, ehh? And they can just go back to being normal women instead of those nasty feminists.

This reminds me that I need to post a review of Manifesta. For now, just keep saying it,

“We don’t believe in postfeminism.”