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Undoing Theology

Life Stories from Non-normative Christians

Undoing Theology

Life Stories from Non-normative Christians

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Publisher: SCM Press
ISBN: 9780334056218
Published: 31/05/2018

The fundamental issue with `queer' research is it cannot exist in any definable form, as the purpose of queer is to disrupt and disturb. This book generates a process of `undoing' as central to queer research enquiries.

Aiming to engage in a process which breaks free from traditional academic norms, the text explores three life stories: an intersex-identifying Catholic, a former `ex-gay' minister and a Christian who engages in bondage and fetishist practices.

Employing an `undoing' methodology, which liberates the researcher and allows intuitive, reflective and creative methods, the book makes a significant contribution to the fields of gender, sexuality and queer studies in religion, both empirically and theoretically.



1. Life Stories and Sexual Theology

2. Perverting Practical Theology

      Part One: Queering Practical Theology
      Part Two: ‘Undoing’ Queer Theory      

3. Intersex Bodies and Christianity, Alyce’s Story

4. Ex-Gay Ministries and Christianity, Caddyman’s Story
5. BDSM and Christianity, Cath’s Story

6. Undoing Theology 

Read the introduction here

Chris Greenough

Chris Greenough is Senior Lecturer in Theology and Religion at Edge Hill University. His work explores the intersections of sexuality, gender, biography, living experiences and faith.

"Fascinating and absorbing ... extraordinary stories of ordinary people crafted into a bottom-up queer theology by a master story-teller. These voices need to be heard." -- Deryn Guest, University of Birmingham, UK

"As a work of practical, queer, feminist, and sexual theology, Undoing Theology draws attention to the power, and the limits, of telling and listening to the stories of `sexual migrants' in contemporary Christianity. Chris Greenough's readable and accessible book exposes and challenges the culminating impact of heteronormative and `vanilla' theology on the lives of everyday Christians, whose experiences of inter-sex identity, ex-gay ministries, and BDSM practices are rarely - but should be - heard." -- Dawn Llewelyn, University of Chester, UK 

"Undoing Theology is a work of brilliance that is refreshing and profoundly challenging. In a creative and much-needed turn to ethnography, the book extends queer theology by showing how the real life stories of ‘sexual migrants’ can undo normative theologies and expose their shaky foundations. The author sensitively and skilfully documents the sexual stories of three non-normative Christians - Alyce, Caddyman and Cath – inviting them to speak for themselves in their own words. Captivating and thought provoking, their stories encourage us to celebrate the fragility and complexity of our sexual lives and to see the temporality of experience as a necessary foundation to all theological inquiry. Through the course of discussion, the sharing of sexual stories emerges as a radical theological praxis that not only points towards the sexual and queer nature of all theology but which also exposes the potential of non-normative Christian experience to trouble and pervert stilted theological ideas. This book brings home the transformative possibilities of deliberately beginning our theologies from the wonderful messiness of our sexual lives." -- Hannah Bacon, University of Chester, UK