Queering Christian Worship

Reconstructing Liturgical Theology

Edited by Bryan Cones, Sharon R. Fennema, Scott Haldeman, Stephen Burns

Nov/2023, 260 Pages, Paperback, 6 x 9

ISBN-13: 9781640656499



A groundbreaking collection of writings that place queer ritual at the center of the theological conversation.

In this collection of essays, leading scholars in queer theology and liturgical studies explore the ways in which the distinctive theological voices of LGBTQIA+ Christians challenge and expand thinking and practice around worship in new directions. This challenge has expanded in the past decades, as obstacles to the full participation of queer Christians—particularly in marriage and ordination—have fallen.

Organized into three main parts, the volume begins with an introduction to queer engagement with ritual practices, continues with a series of case studies that examine queer texts and contexts, and concludes with an examination of the horizons of queer liturgical theology and practice. Throughout the volume, Queering Christian Worship provides new imagination and tools to those who study and curate Christian worship across traditions.

Bryan Cones holds a PhD in liturgical and practical theology from the University of Divinity in Melbourne, Australia, and is an honorary postdoctoral researcher at Pilgrim Theological College/University of Divinity. He is the author of This Assembly of Believers: The Gifts of Difference in the Church at Prayer (SCM Press, 2020) and co-editor (with Stephen Burns) of Liturgy with a Difference: Beyond Inclusion in the Christian Assembly (SCM, 2019). He lives in Chicago, Illinois.

Sharon R. Fennema is Assistant Professor of Worship and Director of Worship Life at Pacific School of Religion and the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California. Her scholarship focuses on the intersections of critical theories, especially queer, postcolonial and critical race theories, with liturgical theology and practices. Recent articles and essays include: “Christian (De)Formation: Gender Theory and Per/forming Identity in Christian Worship” in Practical Matters 7.2 (2014); “Postcolonial Whiteness: Being With in Worship” in Only One is Holy: Liturgy in Postcolonial Perspectives (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015); and “The Forgetfulness of Gentrification and the Pilgrimage of Protest: Re-Membering the Body of Christ,” in Review & Expositor 115 (2018). She is a worship consultant and lay leader in the United Church of Christ. She lives in Berkley, California.

Scott Haldeman is Associate Professor of Worship at Chicago Theological Seminary in Chicago, Illinois. Specializing in the history, theology and practice of US Protestant worship, Haldeman is also interested in the less formal ways human beings ritualize themselves in relation to various categories of identity, such as race/ethnicity, gender and sexuality. His first book, Towards Liturgies of Reconciliation: Race and Rites among African American and European American Protestants (Ashgate Publishing Ltd., 2007), analyzes the role of racism in the development of US Protestant worship. In queer religious studies, examples of his work include: “A Queer Fidelity: Reinventing Christian Marriage” in Theology and Sexuality 13:2 (Spring 2007). He lives in Chicago, Illinois.

Stephen Burns is Professor of Liturgical And Practical Theology, Pilgrim Theological College, University of Divinity, Melbourne, Australia. He is a priest in the orders of the Church of England, who studied theology at the universities of Durham (BA, MA, PhD) and Cambridge (MLitt), specializing in sacramental and liturgical theology. He lives in Melbourne, Australia.


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