Queering Kabbalistic Gender Performance: Possibilities for a Contemporary Queer Theology

at American Academy of Religion
Moscone Center
San Francisco, CA
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“Kabbalah” as a mass-media and New Age phenomenon has become a resource for spiritual seekers,
entrepreneurs, and many feminists and queers constructing postmodern theologies on the basis of non-normative
Western antecedents. Yet traditional theosophical Kabbalah is often sexist, heteronormative, and homophobic. This
paper presents a queer reading of three theosophical Kabbalistic themes on the relationship of masculine and
feminine, suggesting that, read through a queer lens, the Kabbalistic use of these categories can productively
undermine the very heteronormativity it reinscribes.

Part of the Queer Studies in Religion Consultation session at the American Academy of Religion.