LGBTI Christian theological resources

A challenge was issued on the Changing Attitude Facebook group – where is the Christian theology that presents authoritative teaching from a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex perspective?

Well, a huge amount has been published over the past four decades and after a morning’s work I’ve assembled a list of 59 books. It’s by no means exhaustive and you might like to offer suggestions of books that ought to be included. I’ve read at least half of the listed books and included others which I know to be of value. The list demonstrates the breadth of material available to us.

Pro-LGBTI theology is being written and published in all sorts of places. I’ve not included two important resources: the Journal of the History of Sexuality; and Theology and Sexuality. Many of the books are listed on this site in the books section. Another really valuable resource, especially for those in London is Gay’s the Word bookshop, where Jim will always welcome you and introduce you to the latest publication. Gay’s the Word also has a great Facebook page.

I’ve assembled the books into a number of categories. No single book provides an exhaustive theological and Biblical exegesis. None of the traditional historical theologies do that either. Developments are always taking place and theology will continue to develop. These books represent late 20th and early 21st century progress.

A consensus has evolved as to the core interpretations and understandings which support pro-gay theology, equality in ministry for LGBTI people and equality in relationship, including marriage. The first books provide a basic introduction.

The basics

God and the Gay Christian: The Biblical Case in Support of Same-Sex Relationships. Matthew Vines. Convergent Books, 2014

More Perfect Union? Understanding Same-Sex Mariage. Alan Wilson. Darton Longman and Todd, 2014

What God has Joined Together: The Christian Case for Gay Marriage. David G Myers and Letha Dawson Scanzoni. HarperOne, 2005

The Gay Gospels: good news for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people. Keith Sharpe. Circle Books, 2011

Permanent, Faithful, Stable: Christian same-sex partnerships. Jeffrey John. Darton, Longman and Todd, 2000

The Body’s Grace. Rowan Williams. Lesbian and Gay Christian Movement, 2002

What the Bible Really Says About Homosexuality. Daniel A Helminiak. Alamo Square Press, 2000

Changing Our Mind. David P Gushee (Foreword Brian D McLaren). David Crumm Media, 2014

The Bible

The Bible, the Church and Homosexuality. Nicholas Coulton. Darton, Longman & Todd Ltd, 2005

Homoeroticism in the Biblical World: an historical perspective. Martti Nissinen. Augsburg Fortress, 2004

Sodomy: a history of Christian Biblical myth. Michael John Carden. Routledge, 2004

The Invention of Sodomy in Christian Theology. Mark D Jordan. University of Chicago Press; New edition, 1998

Bible, Gender, Sexuality: Reframing the Church’s Debate on Same-Sex Relationships. James V Brownson. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2013

The Man Jesus Loved: Homoerotic narratives from the New Testament. Theodore W., Jr. Jennings. Pilgrim Press, 2003

Paul on Homosexuality. Michael Wood. Tubi Publishing LLC, 2011

What the Bible Really Teaches: a challenge to fundamentalists. Keith Ward. SPCK Publishing, 2004

Biblical Ethics and Homosexuality: listening to scripture. Robert L Brawley. Westminster John Knox Press, 1996.

Dirt, Greed and Sex: sexual ethics in the New Testament and their implications for today. L William Countryman. SCM Press new edition, 2011

Jesus, the Bible, and Homosexuality: Explode the Myths, Heal the Church. Jack Rogers. Westminster John Knox Press; Revised and expanded edition, 2009

The New Testament and Homosexuality. Robin Scroggs. Augsburg Fortress; New edition, 1959

Torn: Rescuing the Gospel from the Gays-vs -Christians Debate. Justin Lee. Jericho Books, 2013

Homosexuality, Science, and the “Plain Sense” of Scripture. Ed David L. Balch. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1999

God, Sex, and Gender: An Introduction. Adrian Thatcher. Wiley-Blackwell, 2011

Making Sense of Sex (Modern Church). Adrian Thatcher. SPCK Publishing, 2012

The Savage Text: The Use and Abuse of the Bible (Blackwell Manifestos) Adrian Thatcher. Wiley-Blackwell, 2008

SCM Core Text: Theology and Sexuality. Susannah Cornwall. SCM Press, 2008

Love Lost in Translation: Homosexuality and the Bible. K. Renato Lings. Trafford Publishing, 2013

Sex and the Single Saviour: Gender and Sexuality in Biblical Interpretation. Dale B. Martin. Westminster/John Knox Press,U.S., 2006

Reclaiming the sacred: the Bible in gay and lesbian culture. Raymond-Jean Frontain. Routledge, 2nd revised edition, 2003

Science, Scripture and Homosexuality. Alice Ogden Bellis and Terry L Hufford. Wipf & Stock Publishers, 2010

Miscellaneous

An Acceptable Sacrifice? Homosexuality and the church. Duncan Dormor and Jeremy Morris

Other Voices, Other Worlds: the global church speaks out on homosexuality. Terry Brown. Church Publishing Inc, 2006

The Inclusive God, reclaiming theology for an inclusive church. Steven Shakespeare and Hugh Rayment-Pickard. Canterbury Press, 2012

Representations of Homosexuality: Black Liberation Theology and Cultural Criticism. Roger A. Sneed.

Sexuality and the Christian Body: Their Way into the Triune God (Challenges in Contemporary Theology). Eugene F. Rogers Jr. Wiley-Blackwell, 1999

The Embrace of Eros: Bodies, Desires, and Sexuality in Christianity. Margaret D. Kamitsuka. Fortress Press, 2010

Theology and Sexuality: classic and contemporary readings. Eugene F Rogers. Wiley-Blackwell, 2001

Judeo-Christian history

Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality: Gay People in Western Europe from the Beginning of the Christian Era to the Fourteenth Century. John Boswell. University of Chicago Press; New edition, 1981

The New Testament on Sexuality (Attitudes Towards Sexuality in Judaism and Christianity in the Hellenistic Greco-Roman Era). William Loader. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2012

Ethics

Imitating Jesus: an inclusive approach to New Testament Ethics. Richard A Burridge. William B Eerdmans Publishing Co, 2007

Sex and the Church: Gender, Homosexuality and the Transformation of Christian Ethics. Kathy Rudy. Beacon Press, 1998

Gay theology

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

Gay and lesbian theologies: repetitions and critical difference. Elizabeth Stuart. Ashgate Publishing Ltd, 2002

Gay Theology without Apology. Gary David Comstock. Wipf & Stock Publishers, 2009

Know My Name: A Gay Liberation Theology. Richard Cleaver. Westminster John Knox Press, 2004

Rainbow and Queer theology

Rainbow Theology: Bridging Race, Sexuality and Spirit. Patrick S Cheng. Seabury Books, 2013

Love Between Women: early Christian responses to female homoeroticism. Bernadette J Brooten. University of Chicago Press, 1998

Trans-Gendered: Theology, Ministry, and Communities of Faith (Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in Religion and Ministry) Justin Edward Tanis. Pilgrim Press, 2003

Sex and Uncertainty in the Body of Christ: Intersex Conditions and Christian Theology (Gender, Theology and Spirituality. Susannah Cornwall. Routledge, 2010

Controversies in Queer Theology (Controversies in Contextual Theology). Susannah Cornwall  (Author, Editor), Lisa Isherwood (Editor). SCM Press, 2011

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

The Queer God (God the Homosexual). Marcella Althaus-Reid. Routledge, 2003

The Sexual Theologian: A Primer in Radical Sex and Queer Theology (Queering Theology Studies) Marcella Althaus-Reid (Editor). Bloomsbury 3PL, 2005

Dancing Theology in Fetish Boots: Essays in Honour of Marcellla Althaus-Reid. Lisa Isherwood (Editor), Mark D. Jordan (Editor). SCM Press, 2010

Que(e)Rying Religion: A Critical Anthology. Gary D. Comstock (Editor), Susan E. Henking (Editor). Continuum 3PL, 1997

Bible Trouble: Queer Reading at the Boundaries of Biblical Scholarship (Semeia Studies-Society of Biblical Literature). Teresa J. Hornsby (Editor), Ken Stone (Editor). Society of Biblical Literature, 2011

The Queer Bible Commentary. Deryn Guest, Robert E Goss, Mona West, Thomas Bonache. SCM Press, 2006

Queer Theology: Rethinking the Western Body. Gerard Loughlin (Editor). Wiley-Blackwell, 2007

Comments

  1. Jeremy Pemberton says

    Thank you very much, Colin, for putting this up. I hope others will add to it as the days go by – I think it is a much needed helpful starting place.

    I would add immediately, without having thought too much about it, the following:

    Faith Beyond Resentment: Fragments Catholic and Gay. James Alison. DLT 1997
    On Being Liked. James Alison. DLT 2003
    Both good theology from RC perspective
    Then, for specifically Anglican resources:
    Gays and the Future of Anglicanism: Responses to the Windsor Report. Andrew Linsey and Richard Kirker (eds) O Books 2005
    The Anglican Communion and Homosexuality. Phil Groves (ed) SPCK 2008
    Transcendent Vocation: Why Gay Clergy Tolerate Hypocrisy. Sarah Maxwell. Christian Alternative 2013.
    In the realms of autobiography, I would recommend
    Diary of a Gay Priest: The Tightrope Walker. Malcolm Johnson. Christian Alternative 2013. Gives us the history of where we all came from.
    The Cross in the Closet. Timothy Kurek. Green Bridge Press. 2012. A remarkable story of a straight man from an evangelical background who came out as gay and lived for a year or more making friends in the LGBT community.

    Finally (for now), I would be very interested to hear what biblically literate friends make of the work of Douglas Campbell and his monumental work on Pauline theology
    The Deliverance of God: An Apocalyptic Rereading of Justification in Paul. Douglas Campbell. Eerdmans 2013.
    Campbell’s attack on classic Protestant readings of Paul’s view of justification mean that he also has a very different understanding of, for instance, what Paul was trying to do in Romans 1 than conservative evangelicals tell us he was doing!! Comments please!
    You could read
    Beyond Old and New Perspectives on Paul: Reflections on the Work of Douglas Campbell. Chris Tilling and Edward Adams (eds). Cascade Books. 2014.
    The papers from a symposium about Campbell with responses from the man himself.

    Cheers,
    Jeremy

  2. Angus says

    Hi Colin, that’s a long list, so I hope the few books and pamphlets that I would like to add, I have not missed on your list!

    Gifted Otherness by L.W. Countryman and M.R. Ritley – Moorhouse Publishing
    Love Human and Divine – Reflections on Love Sexuality and Friendship by L.W. Countryman – Moorhouse Publishing
    Seeking the Truth in Love The Church and Homosexuality by Bishop Michael Doe – Darton Longman and Todd
    In God’s Image by Robert Warren Cromey – Alamo Square Press San Francisco
    Other Voices other Worlds : The Global Church speaks out on Homosexuality edited by Terry Brown – DLT
    14th Issue of Christian Magazine Vol 4 No 2 1977
    Homosexuality and Christian Ethics – a new way forward together a lecture given at St Martin in the Fields by John Austin Baker
    Homosexual Relationships – a Contribution for Discussion – CIO 1979
    Pleasure Pain and Passion – some reflections on sexuality and spirituality by Jim Cotter – Cairns Publications
    I am sure there must be other things by Jim Cotter and what about Jack Spong?

    All good wishes,

    Angus

  3. Changing Attitude says

    Thanks, Jeremy and Angus, for your suggested additions to the list. I tried to restrict the books chosen to those which were theological or had chapters which dealt with theology and exegisis specifically. All the books on my list and yours really need to be on the book pages of the web site. Some are but not all. There’s no one with the skill and time to remedy this at the moment.
    Colin

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