’Queer Theology’ Aims to Transform Christianity

(Continued from Page 1)
by Scott Stiffler
EDGE Media Network Contributor

For Loughlin, however, this crisis within the faith might ultimately yield the change in hearts and minds that LGBTQ parishioners seek. The challenge of traditional doctrine, Loughlin says, "can be a good thing, for they need to be challenged; and in responding to the challenge, some kind of interaction has been broached, and from there new things may develop."

Cheng believes that apart from discourse within the LGBT community of faith, "Non-LGBT folks can and must wrestle with queer theology. The challenge of the 21st century church is to continue to deconstruct binaries." Those binaries, he notes, are not simply limited to issues surrounding gender and sexuality.

Queer theology is, according to Cheng, a useful tool to challenge and reshape the relationship between lay and ordained; the sacred and profane. To do so, he emphasizes the progressive role of straight allies such as Susannah Cornwall: "She is a good example of what non-LGBT people can do with queer theology!"

Cornwall is associate research fellow in Theology and Religion at the University of Exeter, England, and author of " Controversies in Queer Theology, and Sex and Uncertainty in the Body of Christ: Intersex Conditions and Christian Theology." Cornwall stresses that some continue to debate the role and contributions of queer theology within mainstream faith.

"It's important to note that the term 'queer theology' is understood differently by different people," she notes. "For this reason, some people wonder about the usefulness of queer theology. Is it just an abstract, intellectual, theoretical phenomenon? If so, is it of any real use to people 'on the ground?' "

Discovering the Queer Christ
Cheng intends to address that potential disconnect in his next book. Scheduled for release in the spring of 2012, "From Sin to Amazing Grace: Discovering the Queer Christ" seeks to link the worlds of queer theory and Orthodox Christian theology for the express purpose of recasting sin and grace as it applies to LGBTs.

"Rather than shy away from traditional doctrines," promises Cheng, "I am committed to addressing them head-on."

Scott Stiffler is a New York City based writer and comedian who has performed stand-up, improv, and sketch comedy. His show, "Sammy’s at The Palace. . .at Don’t Tell Mama"---a spoof of Liza Minnelli’s 2008 NYC performance at The Palace Theatre, recently had a NYC run. He must eat twice his weight in fish every day, or he becomes radioactive.


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