Christianity and the Global Politics of Sexuality

Elizabeth Castelli, Eng-Beng Lim, Ju Hui Judy Han, Mary-Jane Rubenstein, and Jordan Alexander Stein

Christianity and the Global Politics of Sexuality event image

After last fall’s McIntyre lecture on the influence of Christianity on foreign policy and religious freedom in Egypt by Professor Saba Mahmood of the University of California Berkeley, we return to the topic of gender, sexuality, religion, and politics with this panel discussion. Focusing specifically on sexuality, our panelists will discuss the ways in which transnational and non-governmental Christian organizations have an impact on legal and social policies in different areas where Christians may comprise a small minority or a larger percentage of the population. In addition, sexuality continues to rankle and even divide Christian churches themselves, as evidenced by the recent tensions in the Anglican Communion over LGBT clergy members. This panel will explore debates about sexuality within Christian churches and the global reach of Christian claims about sexuality.

Elizabeth Castelli, moderator, is Professor and Chair of Religion at Barnard College. Her most recent book is Martyrdom and Memory: Early Christian Culture Making, and she is the editor of Women, Gender, Religion: A Reader. She is a specialist in biblical studies, early Christianity, and feminist/gender studies in religion.

Eng-Beng Lim is Assistant Professor of Theater at Brown University. He specializes in theater, drama and performance studies with a focus on transnational, Asian and queer issues. He has lectured widely at universities in the U.S., U.K., and Asia, and has published essays and reviews in Theatre Journal, Asian Theatre Journal, Modern Drama, and Theatre Survey.

Ju Hui Judy Han is a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow in Geography at the University of British Columbia, and received her PhD in geography from UC Berkeley. She is currently preparing a book manuscript based on her doctoral research, which examined multiple sites of contemporary Korean/American evangelical Christian missions and the politics of mobility, humanitarianism and developmentalism. Her writings and comics have been published in Geoforum and Aether: Journal of Media Geography, and in several edited books, including Mapping the End Times: American Evangelical Imaginations and Apocalyptic Visions.

Mary-Jane Rubenstein is Assistant Professor of Religion at Wesleyan University, where she is also core faculty in the Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies program. She is the author of Strange Wonder: The Closure of Metaphysics and the Opening of Awe, and of numerous articles and chapters on continental philosophy, negative theology, and the crisis over sex and gender in the global Anglican Communion.

Jordan Alexander Stein teaches early American literature and queer theory in the department of English at the University of Colorado at Boulder. He recently co-edited a special issue of Early American Literature on “Methods for the Study of Religion” and his essay “Mary Rowlandson’s Hunger and the Historiography of Sexuality” received honorable mention for the 2009 Norman Foerster Prize. He is currently completing a book on the place of sexuality within the transatlantic circulation of Protestant religion and print media in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

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