Sex and religion are often considered incompatible. Western culture is often perceived as being increasingly secular and sexualised; and religions, sex-constraining (if not sex-negative), normalising heterosexual marriage. Thus, social scientific study of religion/spirituality which for a long time focuses on macro and meso issues such as secularisation and religious authority structures tends to marginalise the study of religiosity/spirituality on a micro level. Thus, 'lived' sexuality – particularly non-heterosexualities – is grossly under-researched within this approach.
On the other hand, the proliferation of social scientific literature on sexuality, including non-heterosexualities, has been encouraging in past decades. Yet, this literature often does not engage with the issue of religion/spirituality. This is particularly evident in literature on lesbian, gay, and bisexual – or more generally queer – sexualities. Indeed, queer identity is often constructed as anti-religion and anti-family (of origin), as religion and family are considered the last bastions of institutionalised heteronormativity and heterosexism.
This Special Issue aims to generate exciting insights into how religion/spirituality informs the 'doing' of sexuality, and vice versa, in diverse ways. With the return of religion to the social and geopolitical agenda, it is important that the study of sexuality – its diverse forms, meanings, practices, and significance – should seriously consider the role of institutionalised religion and non-institutionalised spirituality in this process. This will offer us a more nuanced way of understanding contemporary sexual as well as social identities and lives.
Thus, this Special Issue seeks high-quality theoretical and empirical articles of between 5,500 and 6,000 words. We particularly welcome contributions addressing the following themes:
- Religious constructions of human sexuality;
- Sexuality and religious texts;
- The politics of sexuality in the lives of religious/spiritual people;
- Sexual and bodily practices in religious cultures and communities;
- Power, dominance, and resistance in sexual and religious/spiritual spheres;
- Intersection of sexual and religious/spiritual identities;
- Religion and sexual binarism;
- Globalisation, sexuality, and religion/spirituality.
Deadline: Monday 2 March 2009
Submissions to: Dr. Andrew Kam-Tuck Yip, Associate Professor & Reader, School of Sociology & Social Policy, University of Nottingham, University Park, Nottingham NG7 2RD. 0115-9515396; firstname.lastname@example.org