Sex and Uncertainty in the Body of Christ: Intersex Conditions and Christian Theology

I'm excited to report that my first book, Sex and Uncertainty in the Body of Christ: Intersex Conditions and Christian Theology will be published by Equinox in 2010, in the series Gender, Theology and Spirituality (edited by Lisa Isherwood and the late Marcella Althaus-Reid). You can check on its status, see the chapter headings and pre-order a copy here.

The book explores the theological implications of physical intersex conditions and their medical treatment. I argue that Christian theology has valued the integrity of the body and the goodness of God reflected in creation, but has also set much store by the “complementarity” of “normal” male and female physiology. However, a deconstruction or querying of male and female as essential or all-embracing human categories changes conceptions of legitimate bodiliness and of what it means for human sex to reflect God. Theologies which value incarnation and bodiliness must speak with stigmatized or marginal bodies too: the Body of Christ is comprised of human members, and each member changes the Body’s definition of itself as well as being defined by it. Accepting the non-pathology of intersexed and otherwise atypical bodies necessitates a re-examination of discourses about sex, marriage, sexuality, perfection, healing and the resurrection body. Informed by existing theologies from three marginal areas (transsexualism, disability and queer theology), this beginning of a theology from intersex demonstrates the necessity of resisting erotic domination in defining bodies. The ongoing erasure of intersexed bodies and experiences demands theological responses motivated not by fear but by a desire to expand the ways in which human lives and bodies tell stories.