The Queer God: Sexuality and Liberation Theology

The Queer God: Sexuality and Liberation Theology

The Queer God: Sexuality and Liberation Theology

The Queer God: Sexuality and Liberation Theology

Synopsis

There are those who go to gay bars and salsa clubs with rosaries in their pockets, and who make camp chapels of their living rooms. Others enter churches with love letters hidden in their bags, because their need for God and their need for love refuse to fit into different compartments. But what goodness and righteousness can prevail if you are in love with someone whom you are ecclesiastically not supposed to love? Where is God in a salsa bar? The Queer God introduces a new theology from the margins of sexual deviance and economic exclusion. Its chapters on Bisexual Theology, Sadean holiness, gay worship in Brazil and Queer sainthood mark the search for a different face of God - the Queer God who challenges the oppressive powers of heterosexual orthodoxy, whiteness and global capitalism. Inspired by the transgressive spaces of Latin American spirituality, where the experiences of slum children merge with Queer interpretations of grace and holiness, The Queer God seeks to liberate God from the closet of traditional Christian thought, and to embrace God's part in the lives of gays, lesbians and the poor.Only a theology that dares to be radical can show us the presence of God in our times. The Queer God creates a concept of holiness that overcomes sexual and colonial prejudices and shows how Queer Theology is ultimately the search for God's own deliverance. Using Liberation Theology and Queer Theory, it exposes the sexual roots that underlie all theology, and takes the search for God to new depths of social and sexual exclusion.

Excerpt

Oh that I might be scourged with … iron burning rods …

(St Augustine: 44)

'Oh, Monsieur,' I said to him, 'to what limits you do carry your villainy!' 'To the ultimate periods,' Roland answered; 'there is not a single extravagance in the world in which I have not indulged, not a crime I have not committed …'

(Sade 1991:679)

God can no longer guarantee any identity! This is the great 'pornography,' the revenge taken by spirits on both God and bodies.

(Deleuze 2001:293)

Libertine evocations

Let us consider these obscene images: the Queer theologian can be seen in the confessionary, strategically and sexually located in relation to the phallus of the church, but in a departing mode. Her theological engagement exposes her own longings and stories of exile to the third parties of the confession. Or this other one: the Queer theologian can be seen as putting her hands under the skirt of God, in a scene of almost Augustinian spirituality. Why Augustinian? Because it is a corporeal and intimate spirituality in which the theologian's desires for the flesh (manifested in metaphors such as those quoted above, suggestive of S/M libidinal force) get mixed with other ultimately transcendental desires such as that for God. But in Queer Theology, that transcendental desire is a located desire, that is, a site of specific pleasure. Queer theologians are the ones who consider to what excesses God takes God's love for humans, that is, which are God's transgressive desires and how we have sadly tamed or limited these villainies, as Sade's text calls them. Let us explain this. 'Villainy' is an interesting moral category which puts together an action considered criminal with a class connotation. A villain was a rustic villager, an evil and at the same time a poor person, and as such, is the old representation of what we could call today the dangerous stranger at our gates. By taming the

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