Reimagining Christianity and Sexual Diversity in Africa

Part of the African Arguments series

Description

Religion is often seen as a conservative force in contemporary Africa. In particular, Christian beliefs and actors are usually depicted as driving the opposition to homosexuality and LGBTI rights in African societies. This book nuances that picture, by drawing attention to discourses emerging in Africa itself that engage with religion, specifically Christianity, in progressive and innovative ways—in support of sexual diversity and the quest for justice for LGBTI people.

The authors show not only that African Christian traditions harbour strong potential for countering conservative anti-LGBTI dynamics; but also that this potential has already begun to be realised, by various thinkers, activists and movements across the continent. Their ten case studies document how leading African writers are reimagining Christian thought; how several Christian-inspired groups are transforming religious practice; and how African cultural production creatively appropriates Christian beliefs and symbols. In short, the book explores Christianity as a major resource for a liberating imagination and politics of sexuality and social justice in Africa today.

Foregrounding African agency and progressive religious thought, this highly original intervention counterbalances our knowledge of secular approaches to LGBTI rights in Africa, and powerfully decolonises queer theory, theology and politics.

Author(s)

Ezra Chitando is Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Zimbabwe, and Theology Consultant on HIV/AIDS for the World Council of Churches.

Adriaan van Klinken is Professor of Religion and African Studies at the University of Leeds, and Extraordinary Professor at the Desmond Tutu Centre for Religion and Social Justice.

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