Kenyan, Christian, Queer

Religion, LGBT Activism, and Arts of Resistance in Africa

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Adriaan van Klinken
  • University Park, PA: 
    Penn State University Press
    , July
     2019.
     248 pages.
     $89.95.
     Hardcover.
    ISBN
    9780271083803.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.

Description

Popular narratives cite religion as the driving force behind homophobia in Africa, portraying Christianity and LGBT expression as incompatible. Without denying Christianity’s contribution to the stigma, discrimination, and exclusion of same-sex-attracted and gender-variant people on the continent, Adriaan van Klinken presents an alternative narrative, foregrounding the ways in which religion also appears as a critical site of LGBT activism.

Taking up the notion of “arts of resistance,” Kenyan, Christian, Queer presents four case studies of grassroots LGBT activism through artistic and creative expressions—including the literary and cultural work of Binyavanga Wainaina, the “Same Love” music video produced by gay gospel musician George Barasa, the Stories of Our Lives anthology project, and the LGBT-affirming Cosmopolitan Affirming Church. Through these case studies, Van Klinken demonstrates how Kenyan traditions, black African identities, and Christian beliefs and practices are being navigated, appropriated, and transformed in order to allow for queer Kenyan Christian imaginations.

Transdisciplinary in scope and poignantly intimate in tone, Kenyan, Christian, Queer opens up critical avenues for rethinking the nature and future of the relationship between Christianity and queer activism in Kenya and elsewhere in Africa.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Adriaan van Klinken is Associate Professor of Religion and African Studies at the University of Leeds. He is the author of Transforming Masculinities in African Christianity: Gender Controversies in Times of AIDS and coeditor of several books, including Public Religion and the Politics of Homosexuality in Africa and Christianity and Controversies over Homosexuality in Contemporary Africa.

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