Coming Out Spiritually: The Next Step (1999)
Amazon UK: Coming Out Spiritually
Standpoint: 1 Fully inclusive and affirming
Genre(s): Academic writing, Advice – spiritual and practical, Contemporary Christian practice and experience, Spirituality, and Studies in Religion
Topic(s): Coming out, Inclusive Christianity, Journeys towards acceptance, Spirituality, and Studies in Religion
Especially suitable for: Academics and Contemplatives
Coming Out Spiritually is structured by author Christian de la Huerta’s idea that gay people have traditionally assumed ten spiritual roles or archetypes, and continue to assume them today.
These include, among others, ‘creator of beauty’, ‘mediator’, ‘shaman’, and ‘healer’. This understanding of gay people’s spirituality draws on a number of religious traditions, including Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Judaism, Sufism, and Taoism. After establishing his theoretical understanding of gay spirituality, de la Huerta suggests spiritual practices (ranging from meditation to healing to Sufi dancing) that can help readers achieve greater spiritual integrity.
Perhaps the most interesting passages in the book consider how sex itself can express spiritual devotion. “When we learn to reunite sex and Spirit in our lives, we will experience change and healing beyond our wildest dreams”, de la Huerta writes.
“Coming Out Spiritually describes a mode of spirituality that has previously been explored in the work of Andrew Harvey and Matthew Fox, among others. Christian de la Huerta is equally passionate, and his message – that the coming-out process, when understood in spiritual terms, never ends – is an important one. This book may be a bit confusing to gay people just beginning to come out. (Like Harvey and Fox, de la Huerta sometimes uses jargon that obscures his arguments.) For gay people who have a pretty good sense of who they are, however, Coming Out Spiritually can be an important resource for continuing the process of learning to live honestly with their desires.” – Michael Joseph Gross
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