Hidden Perspectives

Bringing the Bible Out of the Closet

Sally Jenkinson Interview by Rebecca Leeman


5Can you introduce yourself to our readers and give us an idea of what you do?

My name is Sally Jenkinson and I am a poet who lives in Bristol, but I am from Doncaster, where they says poem like this ‘poym’.
I am mostly a poet because I write poems and then go to places and perform them out loud, but I also have a little collection of poems in book form called ‘Sweat-Borne Secrets’ through an amazing little publishers called Burning Eye Books.

How did you get involved with Hidden Perspectives?

A head’s up from a good friend who knows about cool stuff.

Do you have a personal story about LGBT and Religion/The Bible?

No, I was raised in a pretty staunchly secular environment. However, it is undeniable that even in seemingly irreligious settings, the inherited values and moral codes of the church are apparent everywhere. I am interested in how much of our innate processing of sexuality and gender is linked or can be related to the tenets from the bible that have trickled into our collective consciousness, and if so, if we should challenge them.

Why do you think projects like Hidden Perspectives are important?

I think that evaluating and re-evaluating the literature that has shaped our social values is important, for us to understand what it is we have inherited, and challenge the assumptions that come along with that heritage. Even in a secular society, our legal system, social values and many of our cultural assumptions are undeniably shaped by the writings in the bible.

Why should people get involved? What’s your hope for people who do?

Creatively, it’s a challenge to be forced to approach my writing from such a new and unusual perpective. I’m also not interested in wholehearted deriding the teachings in the bible. It would nice if there’s some celebration of the beauty, significance and curiosity in it as an historical text. I’m approaching the commission from a ‘if you can’t beat them, join them’ kind of perspective! Rather than railing against the undeniable prejudices that have stemmed from some Christian scripture, I am trying to explore and unearth the beauty in more holistic and magical interpretations of the text which is, after all, a cultural common and open to debate and ownership from anyone who reads


Author: Hidden Perspectives

A research project within the Sheffield Institute for Interdisciplinary Biblical Studies (SIIBS) at The University of Sheffield.

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