Abstract and keywords

Ritið 2/12 - 2012

Sólveig Anna Bóasdóttir: Sexual Orientation in Crisis: Christian Church, Queer people and Human Rights

In this article the focus is on the connection between sexual diversity and sexual rights. The issue of sexual diversity is taken into the field of sexology and ethics concluding with a discussion on the need to challenge the predominant heterosexual ideology which has been prevalent in the Christian Church for centuries. A radical reconsideration of heteronormativity must take place in society as a whole, it is argued, not least in the Christian Church arena. Central parts of the ‘radical theory of sex’ by the sexual rights activist Gayle Rubin (1984) are mentioned, especially her analysis of the complex ideological constructions in our Western, Christian culture. Rubin’s analysis of these ideological formations is closely linked to a discussion of the Christian Church’s sex negativity and moralizing sexual value system. In the discussion on sexual diversity a reference is made to the ‘indecent’ theology of the late queer theologian, Marcella Althaus-Reid. Althaus-Reid argued for a shift from gender to sexuality in order to understand the heterosexual ideological assumptions of the Christian Church which have permeated people’s understanding through centuries. The experience of the poor and queer, as well as the awareness of sexual diversity, is a contribution which is highlighted in the article as ethically valuable for contemporary Churches wishing to enhance everyone’s human rights and wellbeing.

Keywords: Christian Church, heteronormativity, queer people, sexual diversity, sexual rights

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