A brief interruption to the ongoing white theology synchroblog

The Anarchist Reverend is hosting a Queer Theology synchroblog today on the theme of “Queer Creation.” It looks like a big success, with more than two dozen contributions from a variety of religious traditions.

Queer Theology is a kind of contextual theology. Contextual theologies tend to make some people uncomfortable, scared or angry. Don’t be scared and don’t be angry. Go ahead and be uncomfortable, though — that’s part of what makes contextual theologies so valuable and necessary.

“Adam Y Steve” by Tony De Carlo, part of Kittredge Cherry’s contribution to the Queer Theology synchroblog (click for link).

Most of the hostility toward contextual theologies comes from people under the false impression that they’re not, themselves, also doing contextual theology. But there’s no such thing as non-contextual theology — only the contextual theology of people who are unable or unwilling to perceive their own contexts as contexts. I think that’s where the fear and anger responses come from — from the reluctance to face the fact that all of us are shaped and influenced by our contexts and so everyone doing theology is, in fact, doing contextual theology.

Hostility to queer theology mirrors the same hostility to black theology, feminist and womanist theology, liberation theology, and every other such approach. Rich, straight, white guys accustomed to doing theology only with other rich, straight, white guys — or with those who agree not to challenge the rich-straight-white-guy norms — don’t want to hear about black theology because it forces them to consider the possibility that their own approach, which they’ve always thought of as just plain, “objective,” theology is actually a form of white theology. And they don’t want to hear about feminist theology because it creates the hint of a suspicion that maybe their supposedly objective theology has actually been the contextual theology of the patriarchy. Etc., etc.

The ironic bit is that the fear that accompanies this reluctant glimpse of reality sometimes causes people to lash out in anger, directing criticisms toward the contextual theologies of Other People that all apply even more strongly to themselves.

That’s ironic, but also useful. Look at any just plain, objective (i.e., white) theologians’ critique of black theology and go through and flip the terms. Replace the word “black” wherever it appears in that critique with the word “white.” Or do the same with such critiques of feminist theology, or queer theology, or liberation theology. Reread them with those terms switched and you’ll find a powerful set of arguments for why contextual theologies are vitally necessary and irreplaceable.

Anyway, check out the posts over at the Queer Theology synchroblog. Afterward, you can go back to reading the perpetual straight white male theology synchroblog, but maybejustmaybe it’ll be a little bit harder to keep pretending that’s not what it is.

(P.S.: Found some terrific new-to-me sites for the Christian QUILTblogs list thanks to this synchroblog. It now includes 129 blogs written by LGBT Christians.)

 

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