Saturday, April 30, 2016

New in May: LGBTQ Christian books "Stand By Me," "Speak Its Name" and "Joan of Arc"

Forgotten LGBT religious history, a queer love story at a British university and Joan of Arc's gender ambiguities are covered in new books this month.

They are “Stand by Me: The Forgotten History of Gay Liberation” by Jim Downs, “Speak Its Name” by Kathleen Jowitt and “Joan of Arc: Her Trial Transcripts” by E. P. Sanguinetti.

Stand by Me: The Forgotten History of Gay Liberation” by Jim Downs.

LGBT religious life is the "forgotten history" covered in the major new book “Stand by Me: The Forgotten History of Gay Liberation” by Harvard history professor Jim Downs. “One of my goals in this book has been to shift the focus of discussion of gay culture from sex to religion, and from intimacy to community,” he writes. The second chapter is titled “The Gay Religious Movement” and tells about MCC, Dignity, Integrity, and many other groups in the 1970s and ‘80s, plus lesbian and gay clergy such as Troy Perry, John McNeill and Ellen Barrett. The first chapter is about “The Largest Massacre of Gay People in American History,” which was the fire at the UpStairs Lounge, a bar / gay church that embodied the mixed identities of the age. Religion is woven throughout the book, which also looks at the role of bookstores, newspapers, theaters, and prisons. Endorsed by such luminaries as historian John D’Emilio. Published by Basic Books.

Speak Its Nameby Kathleen Jowitt.

Faith, love and politics mix and explode as lesbian and bisexual students fall in love with each other on campus in this novel about being queer and Christian at a British university. This is one of the first novels about a young lesbian’s struggle to reconcile her sexuality with Christian faith since the classic “The Well of Loneliness.” Lydia, the main character, tries to balance her studies with her responsibilities as an officer for the Christian Fellowship while hiding her attraction to women. She discovers that there are more ways to be Christian – and to be herself – when she encounters out-and-proud bisexual Methodist Colette in an eccentric ecumenical household. Controversy erupts when a disgruntled member of the conservative Catholic Society raises questions. Male novelists have explored young gay men’s struggles with Christianity, but this breaks new ground with a female perspective. The author is a bisexual Christian in Cambridge, England. Self published.

Joan of Arc: Her Trial Transcripts” by Emilia Philomena Sanguinetti.

Extensive evidence that Joan of Arc was a lesbian or transgender person is presented in the epilogue of this groundbreaking book about the cross-dressing medieval saint. She explores how Joan shared her bed with another woman and insisted on wearing male clothing. The bulk of the book consists of her trial transcripts. They are translated into modern English by Sanguinetti with nothing edited out (as sometimes happened in the past) to support or refute various opinions about the sexuality and gender identity of Joan of Arc. The author is a theology student at the University of Notre Dame whose credentials include five years of French language study. Published by Little Flower Publishing.

Related links:

New in April 2016: LGBTQ Christian books "Justice Calls" and "Signs and Wonders"

New in March 2016: LGBTQ Christian books "The Firebrand and the First Lady" and "Space at the Table"

New in Feb 2016: LGBTQ Christian books “Brother-Making in Late Antiquity" and “Two Pews from Crazy”

Top 25 LGBTQ Christian books of 2015 named (Jesus in Love)

Top 25 LGBTQ Christian books of 2014 named (Jesus in Love)

Top 20 Gay Jesus books (from Jesus in Love)

Queer Theology book list (from Patrick Cheng)

Jesus in Love Bookstore (includes LGBT Christian classics)

15 LGBTQ Christian Valentine’s Day books, movies and gifts (Jesus in Love)

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Jesus in Love Blog on LGBT spirituality and the arts

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