Queer Religiosities: An Introduction to Queer and Transgender Studies in Religion


Product Details

Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Publish Date
6.0 X 8.9 X 0.8 inches | 0.85 pounds

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About the Author

Melissa M. Wilcox is Professor and Holstein Family and Community Chair of Religious Studies at the University of California, Riverside. She is the author or editor of several books and journal issues, and numerous articles, on gender, sexuality, and religion. Her books include Coming Out in Christianity: Religion, Identity, and Community; Sexuality and the World's Religions; Queer Women and Religious Individualism; Religion in Today's World: Global Issues, Sociological Perspectives; and Queer Nuns: Religion, Activism, and Serious Parody.


Engaging and accessible, Queer Religiosities introduces students to the rich and challenging possibilities that emerge at the interconnection of queer and transgender studies and religion. Thematically organized chapters, undertaken with an intersectional approach, are filled with diverse and richly textured examples, drawn from various, mainly contemporary religious traditions and cultural forms (from ritual practices to popular art and film). These examples are interspersed with clear descriptions of critical concepts, approaches and consequential scholarship in these overlapping academic fields. Supplemental materials, including study questions, bibliographies, and an annotated filmography make this introduction readily teachable, and a vital resource for designing compelling university courses in religion and sexuality. Marked by Melissa Wilcox's honed and thoughtful pedagogy what Queer Religiosities ultimately offers its readers is a hopeful invitation to unsettle preconceptions. It encourages them to ask novel questions about how religion, queerness and transness can be and are interrelated.

The entire book is conversational and almost interactive: Wilcox continuously engages the readers and asks us thought-provoking questions. Each chapter ends with study questions, questions for further thought, and recommendations for further readings. At the end of the book, an annotated filmography offers further material to study or teach queer and transgender studies. All of this shows that Wilcox's introduction clearly targets the classroom and undergraduate students. But the book is thought-provoking for advanced students and scholars as well. They certainly reach their goal "to leave readers not with all of their questions answered but with all of their answers questioned."

Brilliant, cutting edge, field-defining--Queer Religiosities is the wonderful outcome we get when the foremost scholar of queer and transgender religious studies condenses their research and pedagogical expertise into a thrilling introductory text. Bringing together religious studies, queer studies, and trans studies, this landmark book also does much to move past the tired paradigm of world religions, not merely by criticizing that model, but by showing new ways to conceive how we approach religion. This book will be an indispensable guide for anyone interested in thinking about or teaching on religion, gender, and sexuality studies for a great time to come.
While now significant, and growing, areas of academic inquiry, there have yet to be any texts that introduce readers to queer and transgender studies in religion in their breadth and depth. Melissa Wilcox's Queer Religiosities fills this gap. Taking a thematic and intersectional approach, Wilcox surveys and explores the variety of ways that religion, same-sex desire, and gender variance intersect in scholarship that both draws from and speaks to lived experiences. A thoughtfully crafted and exceptionally well-written and engaging text, Queer Religiosities is an invaluable resource for undergraduates, graduate students, and anyone interested in the intersections of queer, transgender, and religious studies.
Innovative and accessible, Queer Religiousities is the book I've been waiting for. Written by a scholar whose groundbreaking research helped to establish the field of queer and genderqueer studies in religion, it introduces the study of religion to the queer theorists, explains queer theory to the religionists, and pushes students and scholars in both fields to re-envision the intersections among these seemingly oppositional fields of study. I can't wait to use it in my classroom.
I'm grateful to Professor Wilcox for Queer Religiosities, and for more than one reason. Rather than offering a framework for what religion might be and then noting how particular traditions address questions of queer people and relationships (a common approach), this book weaves queerness into the conceptualization and framing of religion itself and its many, multiple expressions. Foregrounding the narrative and communal character of religiosity also invites a deeply textured exploration of where religion actually shows up in daily life and relational networks. The "annotated filmography" will be a welcome resource for teachers of all kinds, as will the thoughtful study questions and prompts for further inquiry. I'm eager to use this book in my seminary classes as well as for my congregation's education programs!

With a view to introducing non-specialists to the intersection of queer, transgender, and religious studies, Melissa M. Wilcox's latest work offers readers an accessible and comprehensive entry point to contemporary discussions of queer religiosities. Wilcox eschews the conceptual limitations of a world religions paradigm for parsing matters queer and religious and instead employs a thematic approach in this text, structuring her chapters around six distinct, albeit interrelated, themes: stories, conversations, practices, identities, communities, and politics and power. While some of these thematic discussions are more illuminating than others, each chapter teems with challenging ideas, fresh analyses, and subversive storytelling. Accompanying each chapter are fact-based study and discussion questions, as well as recommendations for further reading. Additional materials include an annotated filmography, a glossary, and a bibliography of queer studies in religion. While these aids contribute greatly to the teachability of this textbook, it is the author's inviting pedagogical approach and tone that help distinguish this introduction from others, rendering it indispensable as a textbook; readers will feel as though they are in the presence of a mentor truly passionate about the subject matter and keen to share this passion with others. This is an excellent introduction to queer, transgender, and religious studies, and one that will prove insightful and challenging to the unversed and the versed alike.