Constructing Gay Theology

The GLBTRT has been reviewing books and movies in its newsletter since the early 1990s. Trace the evolution of queer publishing through these historic reviews. This review was originally published in Vol. 4, No. 1, Spring 1992.

Constructing Gay Theology. Michael L. Stemmler and J. Michael Clark, editors. Monument Press, 1991. $7.00. (ISBN 0-930383-19-2)

This is volume II of a collection of essays centering around gay men’s issues in religion. Much of the thought exhibited in the Thurston, Clark and Gorman pieces are based on the premise that a gay theology is not only lacking in the gay culture, but is strongly needed to tie the emotional and spiritual needs of the community together.

Taking its roots in Segundo’s Liberation Theology, Thurston presents a strong case for the need of developing a gay theology similar in nature to that of the feminist approach by Carter Heyward. His historical overview is easy to comprehend, even for the non-exegetical scholar. The overall argument is well defended by numerous, but essential references, that give a reader a concise bibliographical overview of current contributors in the field of liberation theology.

Clark sees the development of a gay theology as an anthropological movement, finding its roots in the development of the gay community. His belief centers around the idea that God is present in all acts within the gay culture.

Gorman defines the need for a gay theology in terms of its sociological development stemming from the Stonewall riots. He movingly ties in the AIDS quilting project as strong elements of religious development in the gay community, comparing it with the Torah.

John McNeill’s response finds little fault with the general overall thinking of all the contributors, but does not agree in all cases with Oark.

This collection is a wonderful overview for any individual seeking an understanding of how gays must approach religion and the realities which exist within traditional theological thinking.

Reviewed by Charles Whitlow
AT&T Tax Libraries
Morristown, NJ

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