A Special Illumination: Authority, Inspiration and Heresy in Gay Spirituality
Gay Spirituality represents a hidden stream in Western thought that in the wake of Gay Liberation has finally declared itself and enlarged its borders. Since 'coming out' in the 1970s against the background of a liberationist secularism that at first ignored it, expressions of gay spirituality are many and increasing. Beginning with especially gay theology within Christianity the phenomenon has reached everywhere from Buddhism to neo-paganism. But so far critical assessment of the movement is minimal to non existent. This lack is due to a refusal to regard the trend as more than a claim to rights and acceptance within religious circles as opposed to the more serious questioning of the self, of vision and of ethics. Gay Spirituality should be seen not just as supplementary to religion but a question directed at the heart of religion itself in which, at least historically, gay people have often had an influential role. The controversy that is Gay Spirituality is thus a major one that anyone interested in religious issues can no longer afford to overlook. If Gay Spirituality does not disrupt religion as conservatives fear, it should be seen as a way forward, the gift to religion of 'a special illumination.'
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