Swarthmore College Introduces Classes on ‘Queering the Bible’ and ‘Queering God’

Queering the Bible Swarthmore

Students will be taught to let go of their “long held assumptions” about the contents of the Christian Bible in the upcoming class, which seeks to provide “queer and trans* readings of biblical texts.”

Swarthmore College, which costs upwards of $64,000 per semester, is set to offer several courses next year that teaches the Bible and Christianity through a queer perspective.

In the “Queering the Bible” class, students will learn the Bible using “queer and trans* theoretical approaches.” The course description states that it aims to “destabilize” students’ understanding of the Christian holy book.

Gwynn Kessler, an associate professor of religion, will introduce the “Queering the Bible” class next fall, and introduced through the college’s Religion Department. According to the course description, the course will introduce “students to the complexity of constructions of sex, gender, and identity in one of the most influential literary works produced in ancient times.”

“By reading the Bible with the methods of queer and trans* theoretical approaches,” the site states, “this class destabilizes long held assumptions about what the bible–and religion–says about gender and sexuality.”

The other courses being taught by Swarthmore’s Religion Department include “The Bible in Popular Culture,” “Rape, Slavery, and Genocide in Bible and Culture,” and “Queering God: Feminist and Queer Theology.”  

In “Queering God,” students will be taught to question whether God is male or female, and “examines feminist and queer writings about God, explores tensions between feminist and queer theology, and seeks to stretch the limits of gendering-and sexing-the divine.”

The College Fix reports that it attempted to contact Swarthmore’s Religion Department faculty, who did not respond to inquiries or answer questions about the materials Kessler plans to use in her class on “Queering the Bible.”

Her faculty profile describes her work as “situated within, and suffused with, postmodern, feminist, and queer theoretical approaches.”

Source: The College Fix.

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