Sex and the Church: Gender, Homosexuality, and the Transformation of Christian Ethics

By Kathy Rudy | Go to book overview

Acknowledgments

I am indebted to the people and institutions that supported the intellectual work behind this book. The book was conceived while I was a postdoctoral fellow at Princeton's Center for the Study of American Religion, and the guidance of many seminar members -- especially Bob Wuthnow, John Wilson, and Nancy Ammerman -- was extremely important. My colleagues in the women's studies program at Duke -- Jean O'Barr, Nancy Rosebaugh, Sarah Hill, Cynthia Banks-Glover, and Vivian Robinson -- provided the intellectual support and material conditions for me to write as well as teach. Finally, a group of graduate and divinity students who met with me in an independent study forum in the spring of 1995 -- including Dean Blackburn, Liz Waters, Sandy Malasky, Diana Swancutt, and Seth Persily -- helped me clarify the arguments in the later parts of the book. I am grateful for their insights and convictions.

But this book is not only about intellectual work. The emotional support I received before and throughout graduate school enabled me to critique the sexist, homophobic rhetoric of the Christian church, of which I am a part. I want to thank the many people who helped me to form and accept my identity as a lesbian, as well as those people who challenged me to see the value in moving beyond such categories. Kathy Lanier, Judi Clark, Mary McClintock-Fulkerson, Liz Clark, Stanley Hauerwas, Claudia Koonz, Irene Silverblatt, and many others supported me through the many phases of "coming out," and Eve Sedgwick, especially, helped me figure out what "coming out" could possibly mean. Susan Worst, my editor at Beacon, read and edited every word of this book. As my relationship with Beacon Press continues, I am delighted to find in Susan not only an excellent editor but a good friend as well.

For many years, my life was primarily defined by my relationships with women. Perhaps the most surprising gift I have received in writing this book has been a new appreciation for the lives and work of certain men. Through these new friendships, I have realized that separatist politics are often not only politically divisive, but also terribly isolating. Without the support, insights, and example of Randy Styres, Scott Tucker, Bob Goss, Michael Moon, and Jonathan Goldberg, this would be a very different book. I thank them, and continue to grow in my relationships with them.

Finally, more than anyone else, one person inspired me to write this book: my partner Janice Radway. The life we have led together for almost a decade now is rich and

-ix-

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