Recent papers in Theology & Sexuality

The journal Theology and Sexuality has now moved to the website of its new publisher, Equinox. You can use this link to go there and read two of my recent papers.

“‘State of Mind’ versus ‘Concrete Set of Facts’: The Contrasting of Transgender and Intersex in Church Documents on Sexuality”, Theology & Sexuality 15.1 (2009), 7-28

Intersex in Church documents has, thus far, been given very little coverage in its own right. However, it is sometimes presented as a foil to transgender; a ‘natural’ if unfortunate state in contrast to resolutely ‘non-biological’ state of transgender. This serves to stigmatize transgender, and fails to understand the extent to which intersex disrupts binary, dualistic notions of sex and gender in their entirety. Utilizing opposites such as biological/non-biological is not, in fact, the most useful way to represent the relationship between intersex and transgender. Rather, it must be acknowledged that both conditions profoundly undermine the givenness of certainty and either/or tropes as ‘goods’ when it comes to sex identity at all. The paper gives a brief summary of some occurrences of the unproblematized contrasting of intersex and transgender in some Church documents, and suggests that they are being contrasted in the wrong ways.

“The Kenosis of Unambiguous Sex in the Body of Christ: Intersex, Theology, and Existing ‘for the Other’”, Theology & Sexuality 14.2 (January 2008), 181-200

Intersex conditions might be more usefully explored in light of theologies from impairment rather than those from sexuality. The areas of concurrence between intersex conditions and disability feed into theologies which fully respect and take into account such bodily states. Hegemonies of ‘goodness’ and ‘normality’ which lead to the marginalization of intersexed and impaired bodies are grounded in theological beliefs which fail adequately to ‘queer’ oppressive socio-cultural discourses. The disability theology of John M. Hull is used to argue that the ‘ideologies of dominance’ which assume the ‘sighted world’ to be the only ‘real world’ are also evident in assumptions that the binary-sexed world is the only real world; and that it is appropriate for theologians to query and subvert such assumptions. Kenotic behaviour in the realm of gender identity might involve the ceding of sexed signification by those who are not intersexed, rather than the assimilation or unchosen ‘correction’ of those who are.