University of Chicago offers course in 'Queering God'

“Can God be an ally in queer worldmaking? Is God queer? What does queerness have to do with Judaism, Christianity, or Islam?"

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Ari Hoffman Seattle WA
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The University of Chicago’s Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality is offering a class that asks, “Is God Queer?”

The “Queering God” course, fulfills a “Foundations” requirement for the school’s major, in which students earn a degree by exploring “topics in sexuality, social life, science, politics and culture, literature and the arts, or systems of thought,” and is “…recommended as an entry point for the major.”



The “Concepts and Problems” courses “delve further in to a specific subject area and are a way to build upon prior knowledge in the field. Additionally, students must take GNSE 20001 Theories of Sexuality and Gender (or an approved substitute).”

The GNSE 12124 course description states, “Can God be an ally in queer worldmaking? Is God queer? What does queerness have to do with Judaism, Christianity, or Islam? This course introduces students to foundational concepts in queer and trans studies by focusing on queer Jewish, Christian, and Islamic theologies."

"We will analyze the ways that contemporary artists, activists, and scholars are using theology to reimagine gender and experiment with new relational forms. Our readings will include a variety of genres: memoir, letters, scriptural interpretation, and a novel. There will be no presumption of previous acquaintance with any of the readings or topics discussed, or indeed with any academic theology or queer theory at all."

Additionally, students “…analyze the ways that contemporary artists, activists, and scholars are using theology to reimagine gender and experiment with new relational forms.”

The school noted that “All Gender and Sexuality Studies majors are advised, but not required, to take GNSE 15002-15003 Gender and Sexuality in World Civilizations I-II to fulfill their general education requirement in civilization studies.” 

Another course offered in this major is GNSE 23154: "Is it Ethical to Have Children?" in light of climate change and the affluent West.

Olivia Bustion, the course instructor, who holds a Master of Divinity degree from UChicago, is a doctoral theology candidate at the school and previously examined the link between Christianity and autism.
 

According to her bio, "My dissertation responds to a problem at the intersection of moral philosophy and critical theory: How can one think the human subject as morally agential (and therefore responsible) if the subject is not self-constituting?"

The University of Chicago is no stranger to controversy, having offered a class in 2022 called “The Problem of Whiteness.”
 
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