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2014 Boswell Lecture
May 22, 2014 10:05 AM PDT
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CLGS Lavender Lunch: San Francisco Night Ministry
May 29, 2012 12:16 PM PDT

The SF Night Ministry has been providing non-judgmental and compassionate  pastoral care on the streets of San Francisco since 1964. The people we minister to range from our homeless sisters and brothers to our friends in the bars and pubs as well as those in the cafes, diners and donut shops. Hear stories of two ministers who have walked into a bar as part of their ministry.

Rev. Thom Longino, a 2004 M.Div. graduate of Pacific School of Religion, was born and raised in the southeastern US. Ordained in the United Church of Christ, Thom describes himself as UCC with a Lutheran twist.  He is a member of St. John's UCC and Ebenezer/herchurch Lutheran in San Francisco.

The Rev. Diana Wheeler has been an Episcopal deacon in the Diocese of California for more than 8 years and has been working with SF Night Ministry since 2008. By day she is the principal of a suburban Episcopal school and by night she provides pastoral care on the streets, in bars and via social media.

Who is Human? – The Subversive Question at the Heart of Christianity
May 02, 2012 04:00 PM PDT

Orlando Espín, Th.D., Professor of Systematic Theology in the Department of Theology and Religious Studies at the University of San Diego and Co-Coordinator of the CLGS Latino/a Roundtable, delivered the Fifth Annual John E. Boswell Lecture on Tuesday evening, April 24, 2012, titled, "“Who is Human? – The Subversive Question at the Heart of Christianity."

Lecture Summary: Christians claim that God definitively revealed Godself in and as a human life. Christians also claim that the most crucial moral imperative is to love one's fellow human beings because they are human. Therefore, to ask, “who is human?” is an inescapably subversive question at the heart of Christianity. This question addresses the scandalous Christian claim regarding God, and it establishes the dignity of humanness as the foundation of all ethics and the rights of humans as the non-negotiable moral "line in the sand."

The Rainbow Connection: Bridging Asian American and Queer Theologies
May 02, 2012 03:56 PM PDT

Patrick S. Cheng, Assistant Professor of Historical and Systematic Theology at Episcopal Divinity School, delivered the fourth annual Boswell Lecture on Thursday evening, April 28, 2011, titled, "The Rainbow Connection: Bridging Asian American and Queer Theologies."

Dr. Cheng's lecture --The Rainbow Connection: Bridging Asian American and Queer Theologies -- will help to mark and celebrate an emerging queer religious scholarship among Asian Pacific Islander communities.

As Dr. Cheng describes it: "Rainbows have long served as bridges between different worlds: heaven and earth; east and west; queer and non-queer. In this lecture, I will suggest that the emergence of LGBTQ Asian Pacific Islander theological voices in recent years has created a hybrid space – or bridge – between Asian American and queer theologies. It is in this 'rainbow space' that previously-silenced connections between sexualities, gender identities, and races can emerge, and thus challenge and transform the dominant theological discourse."

The Black Church and the Blues Body
April 16, 2012 02:20 PM PDT

The Rev. Dr. Kelly Brown Douglas delivered the third annual John E. Boswell Lecture on Friday, April 30, 2010. Douglas is the chair of the religion and philosophy department at Goucher College and a pioneering figure in the development of womanist theology.

Douglas’ theme, “The Black Church and the Blues Body” was a prophetic message critiquing the Black Church’s, “Outspoken and influential tendency…to view the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) body as a sinful body, one not as worthy of respect as other bodies.” (Douglas was careful not to identify the Black Church as a single, monolithic entity, but rather as a patchwork of traditions and rituals, over the breadth of which she would be discerning certain patterns for critique.) She placed all bodies of African Americans, but particularly black LGBT bodies, and black women’s bodies, under the rubric of “blues bodies,” that is, bodies that “contest white, patriarchal, heterosexual, middle-class standards of propriety,” comparing these bodies’ resistance to similar forms of resistance women blues singers were known to practice in their lives, music, and lyrics.

The Gravity of Love: Theopoetics in a Queer World
April 05, 2012 11:29 AM PDT

Laurel C. Schneider, Professor of Theology, Ethics, and Culture at Chicago Theological Seminary delivers the second annual Georgia Harkness Lecture. In tribute to Georgia Harkness’s own interest in poetry, Dr. Schneider explores ways in which theopoetics, an emergent mode of theological reflection, can offer pathways for embodied, queer theology that is “other-wise."

See the Holy: Spirituality in the Art of David Wojnarowicz
April 05, 2012 12:49 PM PDT

Rising from a devastating early life as a homeless gay youth and hustler in Times Square, David Wojnarowicz became an acclaimed artist and author. His artwork gives holy status to people and places that society has rendered invisible. Using the symbolism of his Roman Catholic childhood, along with images of gay culture and sexuality, the artist depicted an expansive and beautiful spirituality. These images have also been a lightning rod for conflict with conservative Christians, during Wojnarowicz’s lifetime and beyond, including the censorship of his film, Fire in My Belly, from a Smithsonian exhibit in 2010. Active as an artist during the 1980s and 1990s until his death in 1992 from AIDS-related illnesses, Wojnarowicz was an outspoken critic of the church’s silence during the AIDS crisis.

Join us as we explore the spiritual themes in his artwork and consider what this artist has to tell us theologically. This Lavender Lunch will be presented by Justin Tanis, Director of Communications for Out & Equal Workplace Advocates and author of Transgendered: Theology, Ministry and Communities of Faith.

Queer Activism, Queer Scholarship: Liminality, Identity, and the "Good Gays"
April 05, 2012 11:52 AM PDT

In contemporary queer religious scholarship, the category of liminality has emerged as a site for positioning queer identity within religious frames. Yet out in the activist world, fixed identities ("born this way") have been shown to be more politically effective. When do our activist interests and scholarly interests intersect, collide, and fight with one another? Does a queer approach to text lead to a particular political affiliation?

Jay Michaelson, author of the book "God vs. Gay? The Religious Case for Equality” (Beacon, 2011), will address these questions in the context of his own work as a queer scholar-activist. Michaelson’s decade of advocacy for LGBT people in religious communities has been featured in The New York Times, NPR and CNN. He has taught at Yale University, Boston University Law School, City College, and in communities around the country.

A Theology of Reproductive Justice
April 05, 2012 12:56 PM PDT

What does it mean to be a pro-choice person of faith?
What are the theologies and spiritual/scriptural resources that support belief in reproductive justice? How are these issues addressed in different faith communities? How can we as people of faith speak out for reproductive justice in the public square? How does reproductive justice intersect with a wide range of ministry settings?

This is a presentation and discussion on these questions and more, led by Rev. Matthew Westfox, Director of Interfaith Outreach for the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, Associate Pastor for All Souls Bethlehem Church, in Brooklyn, NY and volunteer chaplain for the Abortion Doula Project.