Intersex, Theology, and the Bible: Troubling Bodies in Church, Text, and Society ed. By Susannah Cornwall
As you all know, I’ve been working on expanding my scholarly reading in LGBT issues and arguments, so that I can help non- or not-yet-affirming Christian students in their own breadth of knowledge. I decided that I needed to move towards the + in the LGBT+ acronyms, and so this book was checked out from the library. I haven’t read too much on intersex issues, apart from an interesting I.W. Gregorio novel I had read last year, so I thought it would be important to have something academic in the mix. [I’d also like to add that because it’s been such a super long time since I’ve read this book, my review might sound kind of vague. I promise, this book really is worth reading]
Intersex, Theology, and the Body was borne out of a special conference, with papers formulated into chapters of the book. Here, the authors tackle several issues: gender binaries, the Bible’s understanding of gender and sexuality, and what being made in God’s image really entails. The authors intend to trouble heteronormative understandings of the Bible, particularly as they relate to creation, our understanding of our bodies in relation to God’s sovereignty, and what that means today in a world where gender and the body are not simply black-and-white. The chapter on Middlesex is perhaps my favorite, because it discusses a book I really enjoyed and engages with some of the ideological flaws that give the book a slight heteronormative sheen.
This book is definitely academic in writing style, tone, and focus. As an academic, I enjoyed and appreciated it immensely. If you are not an academic and want something a bit less dense, this might not be as enjoyable for you. I think some of my students would appreciate this book, while others might need something a little more conversational before they can enter this particular conversation.