A Queer Science of the Sacraments
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Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Number of Pages: 160
Width: 15.6 cm
Height: 23.4 cm
This study seeks to explore the connections between gender and sexual identity and Christian sacramental theology and practice, in the light of contemporary debates around these issues in the Churches. Stuart approaches the sacraments from the perspective of queer theory and theology, drawing upon the work of two contemporary Christian mystics who have claimed to observe the inner workings of the sacraments, in order to explore how, from a Christian perspective, identity may be forged in the liturgical space between worlds. She goes on to examine the implications of such an understanding for contemporary discussion around these issues within western Christianity. Elizabeth Stuart argues that from a theological perspective queer theory is informative because sexuality and gender have never had ultimate status in the Christian tradition. It is by baptism and not by biology that one becomes a Christian. "Exploding Mystery" seeks to extend that argument into a theory that the sacraments are the means by which the Church performs its identity and therefore individual members of the Church are created and formed by their participation in that performance. Furthermore if this theory is credible, this sacramentally informed and performed identity must impact upon the performance of the identity scripts handed down by the dominant culture. Stuart maintains that the Church is the only community under a mandate to be queer and that it is rendered queer through its sacraments.