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Queer Christianity - authentic selves : the negotiation of religious, sexual and gendered identities among lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender attendees of four church congregations in Australia

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Fielder, BJ (2015) Queer Christianity - authentic selves : the negotiation of religious, sexual and gendered identities among lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender attendees of four church congregations in Australia. PhD thesis, University of Tasmania.

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Abstract

This thesis is about how lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Christians negotiate their religious, sexual and gendered identities. It challenges the assumption that these identities are disparate. Many LGBT Christians, however, do experience internal conflict between their religious world view and their sexual or gendered identity and are confronted with painful self-questioning and struggle. The study investigates the processes through which some LGBT Christians resolve tensions that do occur, and the resulting change to religious practice. The findings are based upon qualitative data from 26 LGBT Christians in the Metropolitan Community Church (MCC) congregations and two individuals involved in the Uniting Church in Australia. The study also draws upon participation in services and social occasions in four congregations of the MCC.
Drawing on Taylor (1991); Ahmed (2004), Bourdieu (1990) and queer theory this thesis argues that participants act according to an ‘ethic of authenticity’ in their desire to express their ‘true’ sexual, gendered and religious selves. This desire is driven by participants’ essentialist understanding of sexuality and gender, and is magnified by the individual’s religiosity. In order to live an authentic life, many of the participants enter a process whereby their religious habitus is transformed through relationships, emotions, cognitions, and repetitive ritual practices. A product of this transformation and the desire for authenticity is the enactment of a queer Christian practice. This queer Christian practice, however, also remains somewhat restricted by normative Christian tradition.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: LGBT; identity; authenticity; Christianity; queer; habitus; transformation, emotion
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2015 the author

Date Deposited: 13 Nov 2016 23:15
Last Modified: 01 Sep 2017 00:08
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