Gay rights movements from the 1960s have given sexual minorities a new social visibility which has challenged traditional norms shaped by the religious heritage of the West. Mainstream LGBTQ history has often portrayed the gay rights movements as a campaign against and liberation from religion. Although the negative aspect of religion in LGBTQ rights campaigns and in the formation of the queer conscience has been hugely significant, an exclusive focus on it fails to account for the positive role played by a fair number of religious groups both before and after the Stonewall riots in New York in 1969, which function as a convenient marker of the start of a new era in LGBTQ history. There is also such a thing as liberation by religion which is visible as much in the support given by clerics —and even in some cases by institutional religion— to LGBTQ movements and campaigns, as in the creation of so-called gay churches and synagogues or the rise of queer theology. The queer challenge to social norms includes reclaiming and reshaping religious tradition itself.
This course focuses on three national contexts, England, Scotland and the United States, and seeks to offer comparative insights in the way in which the campaign to deconstruct homophobic social norms has been shaped by the interplay between religious and legal traditions in different social settings. The campaigns for the decriminalisation of homosexuality and for same-gender marriage make for particularly striking case studies.
Scholarly Papers and Chapters to Annotate (25% of your mark)
Annotations are made using the hypothes.is interface. Here is a step-by-step guide to using hypothes.is.
Reviewing an online exhibition (40% of your mark)
Writing a review of one scholarly paper (35% of your mark)
Please fill in the form to say which of the four papers we shall annotate and discuss in class you want to write on
This page will explain the meaning of the signs and acronyms I use when I mark your papers.
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Please note that the posts are listed in reverse chronological order. When several new posts are published simultaneously, you should therefore start reading from the bottom up.
- Please give your feedback on the seminar
- Calendar of assignments
- The ambiguities of the ecclesiastical closet and gay rights (19 oct 2022)
- The Religious Roots and Expressions of Western Homophobia (part 3)
- The religious roots and expressions of Western homophobia – Part 1 & 2
- Hypothesis private group 2022-23