Friday, March 20, 2009

Religious Mediation among LGBT Christians

After blogging twice (here, and here) about trying to write up my MA research into an article, and in response to the call for papers from late last year, I've finally submitted my entry to the journal Sexualities' special edition on religion and spirituality. It's entitled "Queerying The Spiritual Revolution: Religious Mediation among LGBT Christians." It has morphed significantly both from my MA dissertation (now also including data from my other MA studies, including a congregational study of the spirituality of an MCC in the North of England, and an exploration of LGB identity as portrayed in the LGCM archives) and from my previous attempts to get the 25,000 words down to under 6,000! It's become much less about LGBT Christians and much more about how sociologists of religion and spirituality approach their phenomena, particularly how the methodological categories used by Heelas and Woodhead in their (2005) The Spiritual Revolution are problematized in my small scale studies. This might mean that it isn't "sexual" enough for Sexualities, but we'll see. If it doesn't get accepted, at least I've (finally) got it to say what I want it to say and to do it in under 6,000 words.
Here's the final version of the abstract:
This article uses small-scale studies among LGBT Christians to “queery” the dualistic framework of Heelas and Woodhead’s The Spiritual Revolution. Theories of mediation are required to explain the practices and beliefs of those negotiating both subjective-life and life-as modes of living. Identity integration strategies among LGBT Christians suggest ways in which individuals and communities might navigate these categories of religious significance and authority. Data confirms that different forms of life-as religions-cum-spiritualities are making the subjective turn; that participants nevertheless alternate between rather than ‘fuse’ internal and (albeit reconstructed) external authorities; and that Heelas’ more recent God without/“god” within distinction is a clearer marker of whether practitioners are already affiliated to either transcendent theism or inner-life spirituality and of when a transition from one to the other has been or is being undertaken.
Key words:
  • Christianity;
  • Heelas and Woodhead;
  • LGBT;
  • inner-life spirituality;
  • spiritual revolution.

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