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Ritual and liminality: bisexuality within christianity and paganism


Ezzy, D and Fielder, B, Ritual and liminality: bisexuality within christianity and paganism, Bisexuality, Religion and Spirituality Critical Perspectives, Routledge, A Kam-Tuck Yip and A Toft (ed), United Kingdom, pp. 68-86. ISBN 9780429019913 (2020) [Research Book Chapter]

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Copyright 2020 The Authors

DOI: doi:10.4324/9780429019913


Some Pagan rituals are characterised by a profound sense of liminality and involve erotic, bisexual and hermaphroditic deities. The liminal ‘in-betweenness’ of their ritual practice enables the exploration of bisexual identities and practices for Pagans. Victor Turner also noted the enabling of bisexuality in his classic account of liminality in The Ritual Process. In contrast, Christians often experience bisexuality as disruptive of expected norms deeply embedded in their culture. For example, even highly progressive Christian traditions such as the Metropolitan Community Church who embrace same-sex attraction, struggle to enable non-binary sexualities. We argue that religious responses to bisexuality are not simply reflections of religious norms and ideas, but are a product of the nature of the rituals and the structure of liminality they create. This chapter demonstrates how some people find a heightened and liberating spiritual experience, queering ritual in liminal religious spaces, going on to examine the differences between Christian and Pagan ritual form and their impact on sexual identities.

Item Details

Item Type:Research Book Chapter
Keywords:LGBTIQ+, religion, bisexuality
Research Division:Philosophy and Religious Studies
Research Group:Religious studies
Research Field:Religion, society and culture
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Religion
Objective Field:Religion and society
UTAS Author:Ezzy, D (Professor Douglas Ezzy)
UTAS Author:Fielder, B (Dr Bronwyn Fielder)
ID Code:139099
Year Published:2020
Deposited By:Office of the School of Social Sciences
Deposited On:2020-05-26
Last Modified:2021-02-03

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