Discovering Images of God: Narratives of Care among Lesbians and Gays

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Discovering Images of God: Narratives of Care Among Lesbians and Gays, by Larry Kent Graham. Westminster John Knox, Louisville, 1997. 205 pp. $20.00 (paper). ISBN 0-664-25626-0.

GRAHAM HAS WRITTEN an important book that deserves to be widely read at this time in the church's history when the questions regarding homosexuality and the Christian life have become so urgent. The author brings together two important concerns: the pastoral question of the nature of authentic "care" for persons and the doctrinal question of interpreting the church's affirmation that persons are created in "the image of God." Through extensive interviews with gay and lesbian persons, Graham has discerned a structure of care exemplified in the experiences of these persons as they wrestled with the implications of their sexual orientation in the context of a hostile society and a church that sends mixed messages about their worth in God's eyes. His theological reflections upon the meaning of the imago Dei in relation to gay and lesbian persons challenge the traditional assumption that a heterosexual orientation is constitutive of what it means to be normatively human. He forcefully argues that there can be no significant pastoral care of gay and lesbian persons so long as the church refuses to acknowledge homosexuality as a normal expression of human sexuality and, as such, an adequate mirror for reflecting God's image in human life. …