Books

Public Religion and the Politics of Homosexuality in Africa

Public Religion and the Politics of Homosexuality in Africa (Religion in Modern Africa Series). Edited by Adriaan van Klinken and Ezra Chitando. London and New York: Routledge 2016.

Issues of same-sex relationships and gay and lesbian rights are the subject of public and political controversy in many African societies today. Frequently, these controversies receive widespread attention both locally and globally, such as with the Anti-Homosexuality Bill in Uganda. In the international media, these cases tend to be presented as revealing a deeply-rooted homophobia in Africa fuelled by religious and cultural traditions. But so far little energy is expended in understanding these controversies in all their complexity and the critical role religion plays in them. This is the first book with multidisciplinary perspectives on religion and homosexuality in Africa. It presents case studies from across the continent, from Egypt to Zimbabwe and from Senegal to Kenya, and covers religious traditions such as Islam, Christianity and Rastafarianism. The contributors explore the role of religion in the politicisation of homosexuality, investigate local and global mobilisations of power, critically examine dominant religious discourses, and highlight the emergence of counter-discourses. Hence they reveal the crucial yet ambivalent public role of religion in matters of sexuality, social justice and human rights in contemporary Africa.

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9781472444745Christianity and Controversies over Homosexuality in Contemporary Africa (Religion in Modern Africa Series). Edited by Ezra Chitando and Adriaan van Klinken. London and New York: Routledge 2016.

Complementing the companion volume, Public Religion and the Politics of Homosexuality in Africa, this book investigates Christian politics and discourses on homosexuality in sub-Saharan Africa. The contributors present case studies from various African countries, from Nigeria to South Africa and from Cameroon to Uganda, focusing on Pentecostal, Catholic and mainline Protestant churches. They critically examine popular Christian theologies that perpetuate homophobia and discrimination, but they also discuss contestations of such discourses and emerging alternative Christian perspectives that contribute to the recognition of sexual diversity, social justice and human rights in contemporary
Africa.

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Transforming Masculinities in African Christianity

Adriaan van Klinken, Transforming Masculinities in African Christianity: Gender Controversies in Times of AIDS, Farnham: Ashgate 2013.

Studies of gender in African Christianity have usually focused on women. This book draws attention to men and constructions of masculinity, particularly important in light of the HIV epidemic which has given rise to a critical investigation of dominant forms of masculinity. These are often associated with the spread of HIV, gender-based violence and oppression of women. Against this background Christian theologians and local churches in Africa seek to change men and transform masculinities. Exploring the complexity and ambiguity of religious gender discourses in contemporary African contexts, this book critically examines the ways in which some progressive African theologians, and a Catholic parish and a Pentecostal church in Zambia, work on a ‘transformation of masculinities’.

Reviewed in Journal of Contemporary Religion 29/3 (2014), 529-536 by Bernice Martin (link), in Journal of Modern African Studies 51/4 (2013), 724-726 by Marc Epprecht (link), inAnthropos 109 (2014), 346-347 by Marian Burchardt (link), in Mission Studies 31/1 (2014), 129-130 by Auli Vähäkangas (link), in Modern Believing 55/3 (2014), 321-323 by Adrian Thatcher (link), in Nederlands Theologisch Tijdschrift 68/3 (2014), 236-7 (link), in PentecoStudies 14/2 (2015), 269-271 by Caroline Valois (link), and in Pneuma 36/3 (2014), 456-459 by Kwabena Asamoah-Gyadu (link).

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Onder de regenboog

Onder de regenboog: de Bijbel queer gelezen. Edited by Adriaan van Klinken and Nienke Pruiksma. Vught: Skandalon 2010 (Dutch).

Vaak wordt met een beroep op de Bijbel heteroseksualiteit tot norm verklaard en homoseksualiteit veroordeeld. De bijdragen aan deze bundel laten zien dat de Bijbel volop ruimte biedt voor alternatieve interpretaties. De auteurs lezen bekende en onbekende bijbelse teksten, van Genesis tot Openbaring, door een queer bril. Dat betekent dat ze vragen over (homo)seksualiteit aan de orde stellen, de norm van heteroseksualiteit uitdagen en nieuwe perspectieven openen op gender, seksualiteit en diversiteit in relatie tot de Bijbel, de kerk, de theologie en de samenleving.

Vragen die aan de orde komen zijn bijvoorbeeld:

  • Is Simson echt zo’n überseksuele macho als het bijbelverhaal ons op het eerste gezicht doet geloven?
  • Wat te denken van de Emmaüsgangers: twee vrienden onder één dak, die Jezus uitnodigen te blijven slapen?
  • Het paradijsverhaal, met die boom van kennis van goed en kwaad: is dat echt de basis voor een vaststaande heteroseksuele scheppingsorde?
  • Als er in Christus geen jood of Griek, geen man of vrouw is, hoe zit het dan met het onderscheid tussen homo en hetero?