Pro-gay Bible Exegesis
January 9, 2012 11:57 AM   Subscribe

Looking for recommendations for websites and books that explain gay theology. More specifically, pro-gay arguments explaining tough Bible passages that have respected scholarship. I'm tending to see all the usual conservative stuff instead.
posted by snap_dragon to Religion & Philosophy (13 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Homosexuality and the Bible: Two Views has Gagnon (traditional, conservative) going back and forth with Via (liberal, Episcopalian, very pro-gay). That may have material of interest for you. The arguments in it aren't especially new, but it has good overviews of the central points of both sides. I'm sure Via has written more on his position elsewhere, though I haven't read it. Your best luck is likely to come by looking for theologians from the more liberal denominations like ECUSA, PCUSA, etc.
posted by resiny at 12:21 PM on January 9, 2012

Best answer: Same-Sex Unions in Premodern Europe by John Boswell may fit your criteria. He anticipated the nuances in debating what "traditional" marriage means and backed it up with thoughtful scholarship (for example, citing in the original language terms or phrases that are difficult or impossible to translate, in addition to including his 'modern' interpretation of such phrases).
posted by kuppajava at 12:26 PM on January 9, 2012 [2 favorites]

The Good Book: Reading the Bible with Mind and Heart, by Peter J. Gomes, is a very good book (no pun intended) about liberal Biblical interpretation with a chapter about the Bible and homosexuality. Gomes was a professor at Harvard Divinity School and a well-respected minister and biblical scholar. He was also gay himself.
posted by dlugoczaj at 12:57 PM on January 9, 2012

Regarding needsnoprosecutor's rec, it may be worth noting that Spong is pretty far off the reservation even by liberal Episcopal standards. Whether that matters may depend on if you're looking for mainstream pro-gay theology or just any pro-gay theology whatever.
posted by resiny at 1:32 PM on January 9, 2012

You might want to check out Mark Jordan's "The Invention of Sodomy". Jordan is a professor at Harvard Divinity School, and I *believe* he is a gay Catholic himself. I bracket my recommendation with the caveat that I haven't actually read the book myself yet, but I've heard good things about it, and heard a lecture of his on a similar topic while at HDS and it was excellent. I believe that it looks at church tradition, but I think it also includes biblical exegesis too.
posted by UniversityNomad at 1:52 PM on January 9, 2012

John Shore is a (straight, married) pro-gay Protestant writer/blogger with a lot of published articles, including in the Huffington Post, as well as a bunch of books. Dan Savage like him, fwiw.
posted by hasna at 2:45 PM on January 9, 2012

What the Bible really says about homosexuality by Real Live Preacher. Followed by this, more impassioned, response to critics.
posted by ottereroticist at 3:52 PM on January 9, 2012

Best answer: Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality by John Boswell is a very respected book on the subject.
Boswell was a Yale historian - highly respected in academic circles.
He was a devout Roman Catholic and gay. He died of AIDS about 10 years ago.
posted by Flood at 4:10 PM on January 9, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: There was an article in a Newsweek magazine a few years ago called The Religious Case for Gay Marriage (though the title appears different on this website ... not sure why). It's not a full book or anything, but for a short case argument, I found it brought up some interesting points.
posted by hypotheticole at 7:25 PM on January 9, 2012

Best answer: James Alison's website has a lot of useful resources. You might be particularly interested in his essay "But the Bible says .."?:

The impression that “the Bible is quite clear” has passed largely unchallenged in the media, which has found it easiest to present the argument as being between conservative people who take the Bible seriously (and are thus against gay people) and liberal people who don't (and thus aren't against gay people).

Well, what is being treated to public travesty here is the Bible. Indeed it seems to me that if anything, the truth is closer to being exactly the other way round: you need a very modern liberal reading of the Bible in order to make it a weapon against gay people, and those who refuse to do this are, by and large, much more traditional in their Biblical reading habits.

George Hopper's book Reluctant Journey: A Pilgrimage of Faith from Homophobia to Christian Love (full text freely available on the author's website) may also be of interest.
posted by verstegan at 1:22 AM on January 10, 2012

"God Versus Gay," by Rabbi Jay Michaelson, comes from a progressive Jewish perspective but covers both the Hebrew Bible and New Testament. (Here's a review in Heeb).
posted by Salamandrous at 9:08 AM on January 13, 2012

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