Religion and the Politics of Spirituality/Sexuality
Journal: Fieldwork in Religion
Drawing upon my research on British LGB Christians and Muslims, and theoretical literature on identity, identity politics, and sexual citizenship, I begin by discussing some advantages and disadvantages of merging the personal and the professional in research. I then argue that in order to understand why some LGB people stay in seemingly homophobic institutional religion, we need to understand the connection between spirituality and sexuality that not only offers ontological security, but also underpins the politics of spirituality/sexuality. This politics is personally and socially transformative. The merger of the counter religious discourse, that this politics underpins, with the secular discourse of human rights and sexual citizenship offers LGB believers cause for optimism. Nonetheless, I also contest the ideological and cultural specificity of contemporary religious and secular LGB identity politics. Highlighting the political, religious, social-cultural, and ethnic issues with which LGB Muslims need to engage, I argue for the broadening of current discourse of identity in general, and LGB identity in particular.
Author: Andrew K.T. Yip