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Is There a Room for Queer Desires in the House of Biblical Scholarship?

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A Methodological Reflection on Queer Desires in the Context of Contemporary New Testament Studies

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When tackling the issue of homosex, New Testament interpreters either read the biblical text as continuously relevant to our present (continuism) or as completely estranged from contemporary conceptions of desire (alteritism). This article explores the historiographical styles underlying both hermeneutical strategies to argue that, despite their many advantages, continuism and alteritism both have homophobic and/or queerphobic foundations and occlude from contemporary debates of sexuality’s multiple queer desires and practices (like “straights” having queer sex). By surveying recent developments in queer historiography, I conclude that no comprehensive account of desire is equipped to account for the present, and, thus, virtual dis/identifications with the biblical past cannot be guaranteed or foreclosed.

Affiliations: 1: Vanderbilt University, USA


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