Hidden Perspectives

Bringing the Bible Out of the Closet


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The Passion of Christ: A Gay Vision

If you follow LGBTfeed.com you may have already seen this, but it’s definitely worth a second look. Kittredge Cherry who has previously worked with Hidden Perspectives, creating material for our Festival in 2013 (see more here), is the creator of what you are about to see.

“Kittredge Cherry (author) said: “These dramatic paintings break the deadly illusion that Jesus belongs exclusively to a particular time or group.””

“A queer Passion is crucial now even for non-believers because Christianity is being used to justify discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.”
See the rest of this amazing work by following this link to the LGBT news on the LGBTfeed.com page.
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African Affairs Committe talk- ‘Christianity and Gay-Rights in Africa’

University of Sheffield
African Affairs Network

‘Christianity and Gay-Rights in Africa’

Thursday, 3rd April 2014

18:00pm

Arts Tower

africaSPEAKERS:
Dr Adriaan van Klinken – University of Leeds, School of Philosophy, Religion and the History of Science
Caroline Valois – University of Edinburgh, School of Social and Political Science
Dr. Minna Shkul – University of Sheffield, Department of Biblical Studies
Sarah Heneghan – University of Sheffield, LGBT society

africanaffairsnetwork.wordpress.com
University of Sheffield African Affairs Network
The shocking recent anti-gay bill in Uganda, widely deplored here in the west, has brought the state of gay rights on the African continent into the media focus.

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Christianity, Church, Women

Is Jesus pro-women, is the Bible pro-women’s ministry? Vicky Beeching believes so.

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In the first of a two-part feature on Christianity, the Church and women – theologian and broadcaster Vicky Beeching argues that the bible, and the teachings of Jesus are pro-women and pro-women’s ministry.

Follow this link for the full article: http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/0/20393178


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Interview with Dr. Susannah Cornwall

When Hidden Perspectives was at the Cinema, showing the epic, God Love Uganda, we were lucky enough to have Dr. Susannah Cornwall on the discussion panel along with Dr. Adriaan Van Klinken and Dr. Katie Edwards.
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Everyone at the movie showing and the following discussion felt that it was an interesting, educational and extremely worth while experience. As a follow up, we asked Dr. Susannah Cornwall a few questions, which will give you an insight into the movie God Loves Uganda, if you weren’t there, and will give you plenty to think about whether you were there or not. See below for the interview questions and answers.
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1. How did you feel the discussion panel went after the showing of God Loves Uganda?

Whilst Adriaan, who’s an expert on African Christianities, had seen the film a couple of times before, I, like most of the audience, was seeing it for the first time. I was glad that there was a chance for people to share their reactions while they were still fresh, but it was also good to have Adriaan there as someone who was able to give some more context and help us situate the film among the broader situation. I would have liked to hear more from members of the audience about whether they were shocked, saddened, surprised or confused by what they’d seen. I visited Uganda in 2003, whilst the “ABC” (Abstain, Be faithful, use Condoms) campaign for sexual health and protection against HIV was still in full swing, prior to the main push for US-funded abstinence-only programs. It was interesting to see what had and hadn’t changed over the past ten years. 

2. What do you think people took away from the discussion panel?


As the discussion went on, I think what became clear was that none of the panellists was completely persuaded by what seemed to be the main thrust of the film. We were all a bit suspicious about the presentation of US-based evangelical missionaries as “baddies” who were imposing an anti-gay agenda, and Ugandans as naive, vulnerable people who were easily swayed by their rhetoric. Actually, it seemed that several of the American groups and individuals shown had no real knowledge of the proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill, and weren’t preaching against homosexuality as part of their work (though nor, I think, would they have been particularly in favour of it). As I said in the panel discussion, what seemed to be missing was the place of British Christians and churches in the discussion. After all, if there are indeed latent and overt anti-homosexual feelings in much of Ugandan society, and if homosexuality is indeed understood as an “un-African” Western imposition by some people, it’s worth asking what the role of British Christian missionaries of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries was in that. Uganda was a British protectorate from 1894 to 1962, so, in a postcolonial context, it’s worth asking what the legacy of British political influence continues to be for people in Africa and in Britain alike. This is especially significant given that the Church of Uganda is part of the Anglican Communion and has the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, as its head, and there continue to be questions about what the relationship of the worldwide Anglican churches to the Church of England should be – including when it comes to questions about issues such as sexuality.

3. What are your thoughts regarding the passing of the anti-homosexuality bill?


It’s very sad, though not really surprising, that the bill has now been passed into law. It’s worth noting that homosexuality already was illegal in Uganda, and something for which you could be imprisoned for up to 14 years. The difference now that this new law has been passed is that you could face life in prison. However, the bill also originally stipulated that “persistent” homosexuals could be sentenced to death, and that’s not part of what’s actually been passed into law. But Uganda is still not an easy or hospitable place in which to be an LGBT person: as noted in God Loves Uganda, there’s still fairly frequent violence toward LGBT people there, and many people believe that the murder of activist David Kato in 2011 was an anti-gay hate crime. I hope that international pressure will lead to the swift repeal of the new law, but I also hope that it’s clear to the Ugandan government that there is plenty of opposition to it from within Uganda and elsewhere in Africa, as well as in the West.

4. Can you give us a sneaky preview about your upcoming projects or book?


I’ve recently started a new job at the University of Exeter, where I’m researching how accounts of personhood in Christianity, Islam and Judaism influence teachings about and responses to people with variant sex or gender (e.g. intersex, transgender, and genderqueer people) in those faiths. My next book is due to come out with Palgrave Macmillan US early in 2015, and it’s an edited collection called Intersex, Theology and the BIble: Troubling Bodies in Church, Text and Society. Most of the chapters are based on papers that were presented at a conference on intersex which I chaired at the University of Manchester in March 2013. We’re asking why intersex seems troubling to some people of faith, and what unquestioned assumptions might be “troubled” or disturbed by it. We note that intersex people’s bodies have often been understood as troubling medically and socially, and have been surgically altered and hidden away as a result – even though intersex people themselves often describe their bodies, and their experiences of being sexed, in very positive terms, and some intersex Christians understand their intersex as a special gift or blessing from God. In the book we suggest that there are other kind of “bodies” that need to be troubled, namely institutions such as the medical establishment and religious groups, and the bodies of knowledge about sex, gender and sexuality which often don’t leave much space for broader accounts of what it is to be a person.


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Cultural lens – God Loves Uganda: Jon Morgan

A great new blog from those fabulous folks at Theology and Religious at the University of Chester. Our love for them is even greater because they’ve reviewed our God Loves Uganda screening and panel discussion on 7 December! Have a look…

http://trschester.wordpress.com/2013/12/09/cultural-lens-god-loves-uganda-jon-morgan/

 


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This Wednesday’s LGBT and Faith Discussion Group

This week’s LGBT and Faith Discussion is sure to be as successful as last weeks. As you may or may not know each week’s discussion will focus on a different topic or theme.

This Wednesday, Emily Reed and Antonia Self will be chairing the discussion on ‘identities’. The discussion group will be held in the Multifaith Gathering Room in the Octagon Centre at 7.30.

Below are two mini interviews with both Emily and Antonia to give you a taster of what’s to come this Wednesday (see below).

identity-mindmap

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Last Week’s LGBT and Faith Discussion Group

The series of LGBT and Faith Discussion Groups was kicked of last week by Dr. Katie Edwards and Professor Elena Rodriguez- Falcon who chaired a discussion focusing on ‘Genesis 2-3 and Heteronormativity’ and it was a great success.

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If you were there you know how well it went and what fascinating topics and themes were discussed. If you weren’t there… where were you!? There was a great turn out and some brilliant discussions. Here’s what a few people who were there had to say about it:

Maddy (student): There was a good turnout of people and we were a diverse group. The focus of the first session was Heteronormativity and the biblical narrative of Genesis 2-3. This was an interesting way to begin a series of meetings about lgbt* and the Bible because it is a section of the Bible which is often overlooked when it comes to speaking about gender and sexuality. (Unlike passages such as Lev. 18.22 and 20.13 which often rear their head in debates about same-sex marriage, ordination of homosexuals, etc.) 

It was refreshing to hear different perspectives on the familiar story of Adam and Eve and really focus on some key parts of the text. It was interesting to reflect upon how the Bible and in particular this text has influenced the social constructs of gender binaries. And also to openly share as a group how we thought this text had already impacted upon our lives (often subconsciously).

We sometimes skipped off the clear focus of the session onto wonderful tangents – which really demonstrated to me what a fascinating thing it is to read and analyse biblical texts. I’m looking forward to the next session already!

Kay (student): Really interesting and a great environment to discuss such topics as were discussed.

Professor Elena Rodriguez-Falcon: I personally found it thought provoking, reflective and engaging.