Ambiguous embodiment [electronic resource] : constructing poststructuralist pastoral theologies of gender and sexual fluidity /Show full item record
|Title||Ambiguous embodiment [electronic resource] : constructing poststructuralist pastoral theologies of gender and sexual fluidity /|
|Author||Hays, Jason D|
|Description||Title from dissertation title page (viewed Aug. 8, 2013).
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Brite Divinity School, Texas Christian University, 2013.
"Dissertation presented to the Faculty of the Brite Divinity School in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Pastoral Theology and Pastoral Counseling."
Dissertation director: Joretta L. Marshall.
Includes bibliographical references.
Text (electronic thesis) in PDF.
This dissertation explores key theological questions raised by gender and sexual ambiguity. Using a pastoral theological methodology in conjunction with constructivist grounded theory the project considers the lived experiences of persons who don't identify within the binary categories of male/female (persons who identify as gender-queer, gender fluid, queer or intersex) or gay/straight (persons who identify as queer, sexually fluid or bisexual). First person narratives are placed into critical conversation with poststructualist theory, critical gender theory and queer theology, along with theological discourses on imago Dei, incarnation and eros.^Two key questions are explored: 1) how persons who don't identify within binary constructs of identity "make sense" of their ambiguity in light of their images of God and operative understanding of Christian theology; and 2) how such persons experience pastoral and congregational practices as helpful (or unhelpful) to participating fully in congregational life. Three significant themes emerge from the study. First, a correlation between the process of deconstructing God-images and the participants' own deconstructive process of constructing fluid gender and/or sexual identities. This suggests that the process of reconstructing non-anthropomorphic and fluidly performative images of God is helpful in the reconstructive process of fluid and liminal identities. Second, a transgressive hermeneutic is used by participants to "read" their lived experience of fluid and liminal embodiment into scriptural texts.^This suggests a "transgressive ethic" of resistance against binary disciplinary regimes. Third, participants indicated that while official congregational statements of LGBTQ inclusion were important, embodied liturgical and congregational practices that create space for gender fluid bodies to participate fully in congregational life were vitally important to feeling a sense of belonging. This suggests several implications for pastoral and congregational practices of care and counseling. The dissertation concludes by offering a tentative constructive pastoral theology of ambiguous embodiment that suggests a more nuanced and multi-layered theological anthropology of human embodiment - one that seeks to take into account the embodied experience of liminal, fluid and ambiguous gender and sexual identities.
Sex role Religious aspects Christianity.
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- Theses and Dissertations