RELG 271 Lecture Notes - Lecture 8: Teresa De Lauretis, Gayle Rubin, Queer Theology

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Sexual Ethics - Politics & Queer Theology
A Plurality of Theological Voices
-Liberal: balancing liberal sentiments for freedom and equality with Christian theology
-Feminist: correcting injustices through lens of gender
-Practical/Critical: transforming culture through critical reflection and a loose consensus
-Catholic: speaking to contemporary circumstances from perspective of Catholic social
teaching and traditional doctrines
-Evangelical: maintaining Gospel witness in face of critical and antagonistic culture
-LGBTQ/Queer: ?
1. A Genesis of Queer Politics
-Teresa de Lauretis: “Rather than marking the limits of the social space by designating a
pace at the edge of culture, gay sexuality in its specific female and male culture (or
subculture) forms acts as an agency of social process whose mode of functioning is both
interactive and yet resistant, both participatory and yet distinctive, claiming at once
equality and difference, demanding political representation while insisting on its material
and historical specificity.” (On ‘queer’ as an emerging cultural force, Loughlin p 145 –
loughlin coined term ‘queer theory’)
-Gayle Rubin: “One of the most tenacious ideas about sex is that there is one best way to
do it, and that everyone else should do it that way. Most people find it difficult to grasp
that whatever they like to do sexually will be thoroughly repulsive to someone else, and
that whatever repels them will be the most treasured delight of someone somewhere…”
Beyond Sexual Identities:
-Queer:-Strange or odd; the thing that doesn’t fit in
-An insult, hurled at one who doesn’t fit in
-An insult turned; a sign of pride instead of a mark of shame
-Queer seeks positionality rather than identity:
-Does not seek to define
-Seeks ‘to mark, and to make, a difference’ or a divergence from the norm
-Seeks inclusiveness without occluding difference
-Faces danger of solidifying into identity
2. Queering Theology
-Core Ideas:
-Answering ‘queerness of God’
-Centrality of gay sexuality to Christian thought and culture
-Application of queer to reading of past and address to present (e.g. re-reading of
scripture and historical theology from new perspective)
-Robert Goss: discussion of queerness is a positionality, not _______?
-Queerness & Theology:
-Destabilize and undo theological normativity
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