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What We Knew, What We Know, and What We Will Know About Religion and Sexuality

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15603/2176-0985/mandragora.v21n21p5-17

https://www.metodista.br/revistas/revistas-ims/index.php/MA/index 

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Mary E. Hunt1

 

Abstract: Twenty years ago, certain assumptions were current about religion and sexuality. Among them was the idea that most Christian and Jewish denominations are sex-negative, misogynist, and discriminating against women and same-sex loving people. It was also taken for granted that gender binaries were real: men/women; heterosexual/ homosexual. Today, different assumptions apply. Some religious groups are actually sex-positive and welcoming of all persons. Gender binaries have been replaced by the idea that both gender identity and sexual orientation are diverse and fluid. Implications of these assumptions are reflected in many religious groups both in theology and polity. What the future will bring is unclear. In this text the author will hazard a few guesses in light of trends in religion today including increased secularization, continued recalcitrance on the part of some denominations, and changes in religious practices.

Key words: religion and sexuality; gender identity; sexual orientation

 

Resumen: Hace veinte años, ciertas suposiciones eran comunes acerca de la religión y la sexualidad. Entre ellos estaba la idea de que la mayoría de las denominaciones cristianas y judías era negativa en cuanto al sexo, misógina y discriminatoria contra las mujeres y las personas del mismo sexo que se amaban. Generalmente era también entendido que los binarios de género eran reales: hombres/mujeres; heterosexuales/ homosexuales. Hoy día, se aplican diferentes supuestos. Algunos grupos religiosos son de hecho positivos frente al sexo y acogedores de todas las personas. Los binarios de género han sido sustituidos por la idea de que tanto la identidad de género como la orientación sexual son diversas y fluidas. Las implicaciones de estos supuestos se reflejan en muchos grupos religiosos, tanto en la teología y la política. Lo que el futuro habrá de traer es incierto. En este texto la autora arriesgará algunas conjeturas a la luz de las tendencias en la religión hoy, incluyendo el aumento de la secularización, la continua obstinación por parte de algunas denominaciones, y los cambios en las prácticas religiosas.

Palabras-clave: religión y sexualidad; identidad de género; orientación sexual.

 

1 Dr. Mary E. Hunt received the Ph.D. from the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California. She also received the Masters in Divinity degree from the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley and the Masters in Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School. Her undergraduate degree in Theology and Philosophy is from Marquette University. She completed Clinical Pastoral Education and is fluent in Spanish.Mary E. Hunt, Ph.D., is a feminist theologian who is co-founder and co-director of the Women’s Alliance for Theology, Ethics and Ritual (WATER) in Silver Spring, Maryland, USA.