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Christianity, LGBTQ Suicide, and the Souls of Queer Folk (Emerging Perspectives in Pastoral Theology and Care) (Paperback)
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While garnering the attention of professionals across disciplines, from medicine to public health to psychology, and frequently covered as a topic of public concern in the news media, the elevated occurrence of suicide attempts among LGBTQ persons has received little attention within the literature of theology and religious studies. This book fills that lacuna by addressing the role that religious, spiritual, and theological narratives play in shaping the souls of queer folk. Taking a narrative approach to qualitative interview material from LGBTQ individuals who survived their suicide attempts, Cody J. Sanders argues that theological narratives can operate violently upon the souls of LGBTQ people in ways that make life precarious and, at time, seem unlivable. The book critically addresses the violence of theological narratives upon queer souls, filling a crucial void in scholarship concerning the role of religion-specifically Christianity-in LGBTQ suicide. Ultimately, the author draws upon the interview material to move readers toward constructive methods of contributing to the resistance and resilience of queer souls in relation to soul violence, asking how we can intervene with practices of care in order to cultivate livability of life for queer people.
About the Author
Cody J. Sanders is American Baptist chaplain to Harvard University, advisor for LGBTQ+ affairs in the Office of Religious, Spiritual, and Ethical Life at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and pastor to Old Cambridge Baptist Church, Cambridge, MA.