Queerying Scholarship on Christianity and Queer Sexuality: Reviewing Nuances and New Directions
Most reviews of scholarship on the intersections of Christianity and queer sexuality (particularly in Africa) tend to conclude that Christianity and queer sexuality are irreconcilably contradictory. This scholarship is often based on the conviction that Africa is largely heteronormative and homophobic. While a decolonial lens does not erase the actual lived experiences of those who experience sexual and religious dissonance and homophobic violence, it does alert scholars to the nuances and new directions of scholarship in this area. These trends move beyond the “irreconcilable contradiction” to more negotiated living at the intersections of belief and sexuality; to even charting a path to an arguably transformative religiosity. The purpose of this article is to review how the scholarship in this area has developed from the trajectory of the irreconcilable contradiction to the path of transformative religiosity. This article advocates for the importance of studies which focus on the lived experiences of queer religious people in order to highlight issues, practices, people, and theories which do not often take centre stage in the discipline of sociology or theology. This article makes use of queer and decolonial theories in order to analyse literature and to argue for the importance of examining the relationship between the lived experiences of queer people and religion in Africa. Further, it aims to encourage sociologists who study religion, and theologians who study gender, to engage in interdisciplinary and intersectional scholarship and develop more compelling theoretical frameworks, which engage with religion and sexuality as variable social structures through the lived experiences of people in the context of religion.