Sunday, February 08, 2015

Top LGBT Christian arts stories of 2014 named at Jesus in Love Blog

“The Resurrection” by Eny Roland (Courtesy of ArtCenter/South Florida) was featured in the year's top story

Art museums exploring queer Latino Christian imagery on both coasts became the most popular LGBT spiritual news story for 2014 at the Jesus in Love Blog.

In a close race for the top three spots, the second-ranked article was “Homosexuality of Jesus explored by 18th-century philosopher Jeremy Bentham.” A round-up of the year’s best LGBTQ Christian books came in third.

The top stories of the year were named today by Kittredge Cherry, founder of the Jesus in Love Blog on LGBT Spirituality and the Arts. The ratings are based on page views reported by Google Analytics.

The blog’s most popular classic story, a blockbuster reposted every year in various forms since 2008, continued to be a Holy Week series based on the gay Passion of Christ paintings of Douglas Blanchard with reflections by Cherry. The paintings present Jesus as a contemporary gay man in a modern city. “The Passion of Christ: A Gay Vision,” a book based on the blog series, was published in fall 2014 and became the year's bestselling book at the Jesus in Love Blog.

The most popular saints of 2014 were all early Christian martyrs. Sergius and Bacchus took first place, followed by Perpetua and Felicity. The most popular transgender story was Saint Wilgefortis.

The year’s most popular alternative saints were 20th-century author-priest Henri Nouwen and 13th-century Sufi mystic Rumi. They were followed by poet Christina Rossetti, Quaker preacher Jemima Wilkinson (Universal Publick Friend), theologian Marcella Althaus-Reid and author Radclyffe Hall.

Saint Sebastian was a wildly popular saint at Santos Queer, a blog offering Spanish-language translations of Jesus in Love. His profile got more than 10,000 page views in 2014, about three times more than any post in English.

The blog's biggest splash on Facebook came from an article about African American winter holiday Kwanzaa. It introduced a rare icon of a black queer Christ by David Hayward, and it was quickly shared and went viral.

“Jesus in Love has become the go-to place for new and innovative material on the gay Jesus and queer saints,” Cherry said. “Readers love the pioneering LGBT Christian art and groundbreaking historical research presented here. It is hard to find anywhere else except at Jesus in Love.”

Here is a list of the year’s top stories in a variety of categories. Click the headlines to go to the original posts at the Jesus in Love Blog.

Top new stories of 2014

1. Art museums explore queer Christian themes in new exhibits

2. Homosexuality of Jesus explored by 18th-century philosopher Jeremy Bentham

3. Top 25 LGBTQ Christian books of 2014 named

4. Mystical same-sex marriage affirmed in Renaissance art and new book "Saintly Brides and Bridegrooms”

5. Rainbow Christ Prayer goes nationwide at churches, seminaries and events

Most popular classic stories in 2014

Gay Passion paintings on display
(Photo by Dorie Hagler)
1. Gay Passion of Christ series starts Sunday

2. Gay artist paints :Intimacy with Christ" (Richard Stott)

3. Artist paints gay spiritual struggles (Wes Hempel)

Most popular official saints / Bible characters

"Sts. Sergius and Bacchus"
by Plamen Petrov
1. Saints Sergius and Bacchus: Male couple martyred in ancient Rome

2. Perpetua and Felicity: Patron saints of same-sex couples

3. Gay centurion: Jesus heals a soldier’s boyfriend in the Bible

4. John the Evangelist: Beloved Disciple of Jesus

5. David and Jonathan: Love between men in the Bible

6. Ruth and Naomi: Biblical women who loved each other

7. Brigid and Darlughdach: Celtic saint loved her female soulmate

Most popular alternative saints in 2014

"Henry Nouwen" by Robert Lentz
1. Henri Nouwen: Priest and author who struggled with his homosexuality

2. Rumi: Poet and Sufi mystic inspired by same-sex love

3. Christina Rossetti: Queer writer of Christmas carols and lesbian poetry

4. Jemima Wilkinson: Queer preacher reborn in 1776 as “Publick Universal Friend”

5. Marcella Althaus-Reid : Saint of a sexually embodied spirituality

6. Radclyffe Hall: Queer Christ themes mark life and work of pioneering lesbian author

7. Bayard Rustin: Gay saint of civil rights and non-violence

Most popular women’s stories

"Felicity and Perpetua" by
Maria Cristina
1. Perpetua and Felicity: Patron saints of same-sex couples

2. Ruth and Naomi: Biblical women who loved each other

Most popular transgender story

1. Saint Wilgefortis: Holy bearded woman fascinates for centuries

Most popular Spanish-language story

San Sebastián: El primer ícono gay de la historia
English version: Saint Sebastian: History’s first gay icon

Bestselling books of 2014 at Jesus in Love

1. “The Passion of Christ: A Gay Vision” by Kittredge Cherry and Douglas Blanchard

2. “From Sin to Amazing Grace: Discovering the Queer Christ” by Patrick Cheng

3. “Art That Dares: Gay Jesus, Woman Christ, and More” by Kittredge Cherry

4. “Forbidden Rumi: The Suppressed Poems of Rumi on Love, Heresy, and Intoxication” translated by Nevit O. Ergin and Will Johnson

5. “The Daring of Paradise” by Brian Day

Related links:

2013’s top 10 LGBT spiritual arts stories

2012’s top 10 LGBT spiritual arts stories

2011’s top 10 LGBT spiritual arts stories

2010’s top 7 LGBT spiritual arts stories

2009’s top 7 GLBT spiritual arts stories

2008’s top 5 queer-spirit arts stories

Copyright © Kittredge Cherry. All rights reserved.
Jesus in Love Blog on LGBT spirituality and the arts

Bestselling books of 2014:

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