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Mary 2015
Jesus in Love Newsletter
LGBT spirituality and the arts
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In This Issue
Queer martyrdom
Ethiopian eunuch
2 new videos
Christina Rossetti
6 new books
Madre Juana of Spain
LGBT green theology
Prayer to protect youth
Kuan Yin
Sor Juana of Mexico

glbt spirituality & arts
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LGBTQ culture and religion have intertwined and
influenced each other through a history revealed by saints and scholars in this month's newsletter.
Author discusses queer martyrdom

Stained Glass Jesus
Christianity's impact in shaping LGBT culture is explored in an interview with British professor Dominic Janes. He wrote the new book "Visions of Queer Martyrdom from John Henry Newman to Derek Jarman."

Dominic Janes
Dominic Janes

"Queer lives are not just about negotiating sin but have often been places of spiritual and physical heroism," Janes says. The book features about 50 illustrations, including an alluring stained-glass Christ. More info 


(Credit: Stained-glass Jesus from Frome, Somerset, England. Photo by Dominic Janes)  


Bible's Ethiopian eunuch:
Queers welcome in early church 

Philip and Ethiopian Eunuch, 11th century
A black gay man was the first non-Jewish convert to Christianity, according to progressive views of the Ethiopian eunuch's story in the Bible.  The term "eunuch" probably included a variety of sexual minorities that today would be called LGBT or queer.  The nameless eunuch was a triple outsider -- a gender-variant foreigner from a racial minority.  His experience shows that the early church welcomed outsiders. More info

(Credit:  Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch, 11th century)
Two new videos: Gay Jesus, queer Christ

Two new videos discuss gay Jesus themes:

Kittredge Cherry did a live webcam interview about "The Passion of Christ: A Gay Vision" on HuffPost Live! See video

"Introduction to the Queer Christ" is a video created for the Slate Project, a an Baltimore-based online Christian community. See video
Christina Rossetti: Lesbian poet and saint

Cover of Goblin Market by Christina Rossetti

Christina Rossetti was a 19th-century English poet whose work ranged from Christmas carols to sensuous lesbian love poetry. A devout Christian who never married, she has been called a "queer virgin" and "gay mystic." Her best-known works are the carol "In the Bleak Midwinter" and "Goblin Market," a poem with a lesbian Christ figure  More info 


(Credit: 1862 cover for Rossetti's "Goblin Market and Other Poems)  

Latest LGBTQ Christian books: May 2015

"Sex Difference in Christian Theology: Male, Female, and Intersex in the Image of God" by Megan K. DeFranza


"Spiritual Friendship: Finding Love in the Church as a Celibate Gay Christian" by Wesley Hill


"Man to Man: Desire, Homosociality, and Authority in Late-Roman Manhood" by Mark Masterson


"Gay Men and the New Way Forward" by Raymond L. Rigoglioso


"Inclination," a novel by Mia Kerick


"Visions of Queer Martyrdom from John Henry Newman to Derek Jarman" by Dominic Janes


Summary of all six new books

Madre Juana of Spain: Queer abbess 

  Madre Juana de la Cruz

Last month the Pope put a 16th-century queer abbess on track for sainthood. Madre Juana de la Cruz Vázquez Gutiérrez was an abbess in Spain who insisted that God changed her gender in the womb.


Madre Juana also saw Jesus in queer ways, saying that Christ can be father, mother, husband, wife, or friend.   More info   


(Credit: Portrait of Madre Juana, c. 1600)

Queer green theologians protect the earth

Kittredge Cherry with Miss American Green Cross

Pioneering LGBTQ theologians and churches are expanding the Christian message of inclusion and embodiment to embrace the enivironment. Among them is Robert Shore-Goss, who says, "My passion for the Earth came with the recognition of queer Christian inclusion and the radical inclusive mission of Jesus." More info 


(Image: Kittredge Cherry visits a green-cross statue from the early environmental movement)
Day of Silence Prayer:
Stop bullying God's LGBTQ youth

For Mary's Child poster
A new prayer by Jesus in Love founder Kittredge Cherry is one of the few religious resources for Day of Silence (April 17), a student-led protest of anti-LGBT bullying.

Silence is pride, LGBTQ pride
Ignoring bullies,
Claiming our right to be
Part of God's rainbow....
More info
Kuan Yin: Queer Buddhist Christ figure

Avalokitishvara by Tony OConnell
Kuan Yin, the androgynous spirit of compassion in Buddhism, is sometimes thought of as a queer Christ figure or LGBT role model.

Jesus in Love highlights Kuan Yin (also known as Avalokitishvara) with art by Tony O'Connell, Ralfka Gonzalez, Stephen Mead and William McNichols, and writing by scholars Patrick Cheng, Toby Johnson, Robert Shore-Goss and Hsiao-Lan Hu. More info

(Credit: Detail from "Avalokitishvara" by Tony O'Connell)

Sor Juana: Nun who loved a countess

Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz was a 17th-century Mexican nun whose writings include lesbian love poetry. Her convent cell was Mexico City's intellectual hub and the largest library in Mexico.  Sor Juana was visited by the city's elite, including the countess who became her passionate friend.  More info

(Credit: "Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz" by by Miguel Cabrera, 1750)
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Click to see additional recent highlights from the Jesus in Love Blog:


100 years of lesbians making peace and making history
In my interview today with scholar Dominic Janes, he said, "If you look for Jesus as a queer martyr you will quickly find him in images that are not afraid to call attention to his suffering and to his humanity as including a sexual dimension that is open to appreciation by everyone." May you find and appreciate the Christ that you seek.


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Kittredge Cherry
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