Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
What would “The Church” look like if it were constructed by the socially marginalized, specifically queer bodies (modernity’s LGBTQIA+)? The “Catholic theological tradition” has been reticent in its hesitancy of queer theory, reinforcing the rejection of queer faithful and their highly contextual expressions of spirituality. This thesis seeks to build a well-architected theology out from these rejected queer bodies in order to demonstrate the intrinsically disordered’s inherent ordered-ness within the Catholic tradition and experience. Three distinct pillars of ecclesiology are engaged in this manner: spatiality, temporality, and spirituality. The first chapter, “En-sexed Flesh in De-Sexed Space; or, The Case of Jesus’ Missing Penis,” engages Marcella Altaus-Reid’s hermeneutic of sodomy to examine how heterodox Church space requires a sacrifice of personal sexuality (gay, straight, or otherwise) and a reinterpretation of Jesus’ own pseudo-sexuality. “Time as Sacrament, Body as Calendar,” discusses ecclesiological time and Eve Sedgewick’s exploration of the phenomena of the closet. The Western roots of the Church involves an expectation of a specific temporality, but what might happen if a Martian dialogues with Augustine’s discussion of kronos and kyros? The final chapter, “Church(es) that Matter: Performative Indwelling of the Holy Spirit,” uses Judith Butler’s gender performativity to define the Holy Spirit, putting a new twist on a traditional definition. Yves Congar’s use of pneumatology helps us find the Holy Spirit in spaces we have not been allowed to look, i.e. the BDSM dungeon and drag bars. This reimagining of ecclesiology, though theoretical, is meant as a springboard for other constructions of contextual ecclesiologies and theologies, for existing marginalized communities and for those in the future.
Warwick, Daniel Ryne, "Queer Church Construction: Dialoguing Ecclesiology and Queer Theory" (2022). Master's Theses. 4498.
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