Queer Virtue: What LGBTQ People Know About Life and Love and How It Can Revitalize Christianity

Elizabeth Edman. Beacon, $25.95 (216p) ISBN 978-0-8070-6134-3
Edman, an Episcopal priest, draws on her personal and spiritual experiences as a lesbian to reshape debates around Christianity and sexuality. By drawing on the queer tactic of rejecting binaries, Edman argues that Christianity is inherently queer and radical. Focusing on significant motifs that Christianity and queerness share (such as identity, touch, scandal, and adoption), she skillfully shows how queer lives reflect back onto religion to recover the surprise of the Christian message. Particularly persuasive are her chapters on reclaiming pride as a communal virtue rather than a private sin and her use of coming-out structures to urge progressive Christians to boldly and verbally reclaim the Christian tradition. At points, it is unclear whether the book is primarily aimed at queer believers, straight progressive Christians, or nonbelievers. This lack of clarity only slightly detracts from the impact of Edman’s insights, however, and her tone and personal examples are compelling. By turning the conversation around to show what queerness can tell readers about Christianity, this work provides a striking road map for larger, more productive conversations and community building. (May)
Reviewed on: 02/08/2016
Release date: 05/17/2016
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