Books: My Personal Favourites

My absolute favourites on matters of faith and sexuality:

csth4Boswell, John:
Christianity, Social Tolerance and Homosexuality Gay People in Western Europe from the Christian Era to the Fourteenth Century
(University of Chicago Press, 1980)

Absolutely the most important book in any LGBT faith library, this can be thought of as the text that started it all: gay church history, queer theology, scriptural analysis of LGBT sexual all trace either their beginning or fundamental early shaping to this book. Highly academic and bristling with footnotes, Greek & Latin quotations, and copious appendices, it is intimidating to a non-academic, but well worth the effort. Even if you do not think of yourself as a scholarly type, read it (then re-read it later.)


Alison, James:
Faith Beyond Resentment: Fragments Catholic and Gay.
(Darton, Longman Todd, 2001)

This is the first in a series of important books by Alison, a former Dominican priest who now works as in independent writer and theologian. Densely written, his books are not the easiest of reads, but richly rewards the effort of close attention -when ‘dense’ also becomes ‘lucid’.


Cleaver, Richard
Know My Name A Gay Liberation Theology
Westminster John Knox Press, 1995
Shows how the techniques of liberation theology can be used by us all to contribute to the development of a new, more realistic theology of sexuality. Also valuable for some scripture meditations on well known texts, approached from a gay perspective.

dirt-greed-sex3Countryman, L.William
Dirt, Greed & Sex Sexual Ethics in the New Testament and their Implications for Today.
Fortress Press 2007 (revised edition)
I have a soft spot for this as the first, and possibly still the clearest, exposition I have seen on how the infamous ‘clobber texts’ in Scripture have been misinterpreted and misused.

sex-and-sacred3Daniel Helminiak
Sex and the Sacred Gay Identity and Spiritual Growth
Harrington Park Press, 2006
A valuable examination of how we can use spiritual growth, and examination of our own personal experience, to learn more about our sexuality and its relationship with God.


Jordan, Mark
The Silence of Sodom Homosexuality in Modern Catholicism
University of Chicago Press, 2000
A thought provoking look at the internal contradictions in the church’s stance, it examines the rhetorical and liturgical style, rather than doctrine, to make its case. Fascinating and memorable.


McNeill, John:
Taking a chance on God Liberating Theolog for Gays, Lesbians, and their Lovers, Family, and Friends.
(Beacon Press, 1988, 1996)

since-my-last-confessionPomfrett, Scott
Since My Last Confession A gay catholic memoir
Arcade Publishing, 2008
A wonderful antidote the the serious tone of so many of the other books. Funny, touching and provocative, this should be on everyone’s reading list.


Stuart, Elisabeth
Gay and Lesbian Theologies Repetitions with Critical Differences
Ashgate, 2003
Written by an academic theologian, do not be put off by the academic tone and style. This is an excellent introduction to the different strands in the theology of LGBT sexuality.

Further Recommendations

Not all books can be ‘favourites’. I list here some that I would also recommnend. Most I have read personally, some I possess but not yet read properly, and some I do not have but know to be highly regarded by others whom I trust. These I list here

My Wish List

In addition to the titles I know or know about, I keep coming up against new titles that I would like to investigate. These titles I list here


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