SMU Theology Course ‘Queer Bible Hermeneutics’ Interprets the Bible from LGBTQIA+ Perspective

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At Southern Methodist University (SMU), the university’s theology department has a course entitled “Queer Bible Hermeneutics,” which apparently interprets the Bible from the LGBTQIA+ perspective. The course instructor, Dr. Susanne Scholz, said the course has good enrollment numbers when it is taught once every couple of years. The course syllabus said that its purpose is the following:

“Study of the historical, political, cultural, and religious-theological discourses about gender and sexuality in the context of the interpretation of the Hebrew Bible. Grounded in an interdisciplinary approach, the course develops self-critical perspectives about the influence of biblical meanings on hermeneutically dynamic, politically and religiously charged conversations over socio-cultural practices related to LGBTQ

Apparently, the temporary removal of a Methodist preacher’s credentials after he officiated a gay marriage spurred Scholz to create and teach the course. The preacher’s credentials were restored after the controversy, but the Methodist Church reiterated its stance on the practice of homosexuality as being incompatible with Christian teaching. Also, among some of the assigned reading are the following books:

  • Patrick S. Chen, Radical Love: Introduction to Queer Theology. New York, NY: Seabury
    Books, 2011.
  • Deryn Guest, Robert E. Goss, Mona West, and Thomas Bohache (eds.), Queer Bible
    Commentary. London: SCM Press, 2015; originally published in 2005.
  • Deryn Guest, Beyond Feminist Biblical Studies. Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 2012.:]
  • Pamela R. Lightsey, Our Lives Matter: A Womanist Queer Theology. Eugene, OR:
    Pickwick Publications, 2015.
  • Susanne Scholz, Introducing the Women’s Hebrew Bible: Feminism, Gender
    Justice, and the Study of the Old Testament. 2nd rev. and exp. edition;
    London/New York: Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 2017.