Reading the Bible through the lens of “queer” sexuality is the subject of a number of courses at colleges and even seminaries across the nation, .
Students at Harvard Divinity School, for example, will be offered a course this fall on “Queer Theologies, Queer Religions,” which will explore the “project of ‘queer theology‘” and how it relates to “larger aspirations of queer religion or spirituality in America.”
The students, according to a course description, will begin by “sampling the efforts to revise traditional Christian theologies in order to accept or affirm same-sex loves.”
“We will consider the boundaries between queer theology and queer theory or between it and other political theologies,” states the course description. “We will test the boundaries of ‘Christianity’ while considering the varied forms of queer religion outside familiar religious institutions—in spirituality or spiritualism, in magic or neo-paganism, in erotic asceticism.”
At Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania, students in “Queering the Bible” will be introduced to “the complexity of constructions of sex, gender, and identity in one of the most influential literary works produced in ancient times.”
“By reading the Bible with the methods of queer and trans* theoretical approaches, this class destabilizes long held assumptions about what the [B]ible — and religion — says about gender and sexuality,” says the course description, according to Campus Reform.
At Eugene Lang College of Liberal Arts at The New School in New York City, “Queering and Decolonizing Theology” will explore “the sexual ethics and ritualization found in the S&M community” and “transgender Christs.”
“Christian theology is often depicted as a violent colonial force standing in particular opposition to LGBTQI lives,” the course description states. “However, over the last 30 years people of faith, activists, and theorists alike have rediscovered what is queer within Christianity, uncovered what is religious within secular queer communities, and used postcolonial theory to decolonize lived religious practices and theologies.”
Students in the University of Pennsylvania’s “Gender, Sexuality, and Religion” course “will read religion through a variety of feminist and queer theory lenses” and “learn about women’s and men’s rituals, social roles, and mythologies in specific religious traditions.”