Homosexuality and Liminality, Israelites and Canaanites: The Queer Theology of the Boundary Crosser at Berkeley

at Graduate Theological Union
2400 Ridge Road
Berkeley, CA

Biblical scholars have speculated that Biblical prohibitions on sexuality — especially cultic homosexuality — may have been intended to demarcate boundaries between Israelite and Canaanite, as part of the creation of an “Israelite” identity amongst a collection of Canaanite tribes.  At the same time, some queer theologians and thinkers in the “gay spirituality” movement have sought to (re-)invent a suppressed queer identity that celebrates the transgression of precisely those boundaries.  Is the postmodern invention of the “Canaanite” a fertile source for queer theology, or but a fantasy?  And what are the political connotations of a post-Judaic conception of Israelite identity for gender, nationalism, and religion?