Recommended Books List

The books are listed in alphabetical order of author’s surname, 25 books per page. It will soon be possible to search and filter the book list by author, genre, topic and so on. For a more basic list, all on one page, click here.

The ‘Especially suitable for’ line doesn’t include Christians, LGBT+ people or straight allies, as we assume that all the books will be suitable for those groups. And ‘especially‘ means just that – if, for example, a book is listed as ‘especially’ for Anglicans, that doesn’t mean it will be of no value or interest to non-Anglicans. Similarly, if a book is listed as especially suitable for academics it doesn’t mean that it’s too difficult for everyone else!

Click on the book titles for full details of each book.

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Searching for Sunday

by Rachel Held Evans

Standpoint: 1 Fully inclusive and affirming

Genre(s): Contemporary Christian practice and experience, Devotional writing, Memoir/autobiography, Spirituality, and Theology

Topic(s): Biblical studies, Discrimination against and hostility towards LGBT+ people, Inclusive Christianity, Journeys towards acceptance, Marriage and relationships, and Spirituality

Especially suitable for: Anglicans and Evangelicals

Like millions of her millennial peers, Rachel Held Evans didn’t want to go to church anymore. The hypocrisy, the politics, the gargantuan building budgets, the scandals, the legalism – church culture seemed so far removed from Jesus. Yet, despite her cynicism and misgivings, something kept drawing her back to the church. And so she set out on a journey to understand Church and to find her place in it.

Centred around the seven traditional sacraments, Evans’ quest takes readers through her spiritual journey with stories that are funny, heartbreaking, and sharply honest. Throughout her journey Evans is determined that the Church must fully include LGBT people if it is to be faithful to its calling to live and love like Jesus – she refuses to compromise on this, even at great cost personally and to her church community.

A memoir about making do and taking risks, about the messiness of community and the power of grace, Searching for Sunday is about overcoming cynicism to find hope and, somewhere in between, Church.

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Just Love

by Margaret A Farley

Standpoint: 2 Moderately inclusive

Genre(s): Academic writing and Ethics

Topic(s): Ethics and Marriage and relationships

Especially suitable for: Academics, Catholics, and Therapists and pastors

An excellent work by a leading Roman Catholic feminist and ethicist, written with flair, clarity, and absence of jargon. The many changing circumstances surrounding sexuality are well described. The influence of Foucault and Freud is critically introduced. The Christian traditions of thinking abut sex, and their indebtedness to Graeco-Roman assumptions, are helpfully summarised. This is a compassionate, very readable, Christian book, and a comprehensive introduction to Christian sexual ethics.

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Disclosures

by Michael Ford

Standpoint: 1 Fully inclusive and affirming

Genre(s): Contemporary Christian practice and experience, Investigative journalism, Memoir/autobiography, Spirituality, and Studies in Religion

Topic(s): African Christianity, Healing/growing into wholeness, Journeys towards acceptance, Spirituality, and Studies in Religion

Especially suitable for: Activists and Those who are undecided about the homosexuality issue

Journalist Michael Ford profiles gay and lesbian Christians from the United States, Great Britain, and Africa to explore the dynamics of being gay and spiritual in the twenty-first century. Through a series of moving and surprising portraits, Ford’s subjects offer revealing insights into their psychological and spiritual lives. The individuals profiled include women and men, ordained and lay, celibate, single, and in long-term relationships with or without the benefit of civil union or marriage. The book begins with an introductory overview of the variety of issues – ordination of gays, gay marriage, constitutional amendments – in which activists and politicians from both sides of the issue are embroiled.

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Reclaiming the Sacred [2nd edition]

by Raymond-Jean Frontain

Standpoint: 1 Fully inclusive and affirming

Genre(s): Academic writing, History, and Studies in Religion

Topic(s): Biblical studies, Homosexuality in the Bible, Queer theology, and Studies in Religion

Especially suitable for: Academics

The second edition of Reclaiming the Sacred: The Bible in Gay and Lesbian Culture continues the groundbreaking work of the original, exploring the territory between gay/lesbian studies, literary criticism, and religious studies. It examines the appropriation and/or subversion of the authority of the Judeo-Christian Bible by gay and lesbian writers. The book highlights two prevalent trends in gay and lesbian literature – a transgressive approach that challenges the authority of the Bible when used as an instrument of oppression, and an appropriative technique that explores how the Bible contributes to defining gay and lesbian spirituality. This latest edition expands coverage to include noncanonical ancient texts, popular Victorian religious texts, and contemporary theatre.

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Aliens in the Household of God

by Paul Germond, Steve De Gruchy

Standpoint: 1 Fully inclusive and affirming

Genre(s): Contemporary Christian practice and experience, Memoir/autobiography, and Theology

Topic(s): African Christianity, Discrimination against and hostility towards LGBT+ people, Ethics, Inclusive Christianity, and Journeys towards acceptance

This book brings together many life stories describing what it is like to be gay in South Africa, followed by analysis. With a foreword by Desmond Tutu.

In their introduction, the authors say:

‘There’s a reason for starting the book with real-life stories, and this is to do with conversion. It is our personal experience, and one that is informed by the experiences of many straight people, that we have changed our understanding of heterosexuality and homosexuality not because we found a new insight from Scripture or a sermon, but because we have forged a relationship with someone who is lesbian or gay. We have learnt to love that person, and so been helped out of the prison of heterosexism to realise that there is a world out there inhabited by real people, not aliens, and that they have God-given gifts and talents which help us all reflect more fully the image of God we bear.

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Coming Out as Sacrament

by Chris Glaser

Standpoint: 1 Fully inclusive and affirming

Genre(s): Contemporary Christian practice and experience, Liturgy/worship, Spirituality, and Theology

Topic(s): Accepting one's sexuality, Biblical studies, Coming out, Homosexuality in the Bible, Journeys towards acceptance, and Spirituality

Especially suitable for: Those struggling to accept their sexuality or gender identity

Well-known Christian gay activist Glaser asserts that the Christian Scriptures themselves defend the self-affirmation of LGBT people in the Church and provide examples of courage and openness toward outcasts from the lives and teachings of Moses, Jesus, the Psalmist, and others.

He also provides seven sample rituals of commitment and celebration (although not including marriage) for the Church’s rejected children.

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Coming Out to God

by Chris Glaser

Standpoint: 1 Fully inclusive and affirming

Genre(s): Devotional writing, Liturgy/worship, and Spirituality

Topic(s): Coming out, Healing/growing into wholeness, Journeys towards acceptance, and Spirituality

Especially suitable for: Those struggling to accept their sexuality or gender identity

Chris Glaser believes that spirituality and sexuality are not opposing forces, but that they are both important parts of the human experience that ought to be embraced. This book of prayers encourages readers to ‘come out’ to God as sexual and spiritual beings.

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Space for Grace

by Giles Goddard

Standpoint: 1 Fully inclusive and affirming

Genre(s): Advice – spiritual and practical, Contemporary Christian practice and experience, Memoir/autobiography, Spirituality, and Theology

Topic(s): Inclusive Christianity, Journeys towards acceptance, Pastoral issues, and Spirituality

Especially suitable for: Clergy

Like so many others, the church of which Giles Goddard was rector was, fifty years ago, almost exclusively white, middle class and male-led. As the local community became more diverse, change was inevitable. Theology has followed rather than led this change, and this book reflects on what inclusive theology is starting to look like in practice. Including stories of people who have either been instrumental in this change or who have stayed faithful through its various stages, it explores key questions for every local church: embracing the evangelical, orthodox and liberal and seeing beyond labels, treating everyone as equal before God, sharing leadership and responsibility, recognising that freedom needs limits, drawing people from the margins to the centre, and managing change. Theological reflection follows each story and an honest appraisal of the practical impact of change.
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Jesus Acted Up

by Robert Goss

Standpoint: 1 Fully inclusive and affirming

Genre(s): Theology

Topic(s): Biblical studies, Discrimination against and hostility towards LGBT+ people, Inclusive Christianity, Liberation Theology, Queer theology, and Same-sex relationships

Especially suitable for: Activists and Those who are undecided about the homosexuality issue

“Contemporary Christian theological practice concerning gay men and lesbian women has not been … pertinent to their own experiences,” writes Goss, an ex-Jesuit theologian and gay activist. Drawing on the work of gay historian/philosopher Michel Foucault and other scholars, Goss sets forth a ‘queer liberation theology’ that goes beyond the notion of God’s ‘preferential option for the … poor’ to assert that God’s passion for all outcasts specifically embraces the sexually oppressed.

Standpoint: 1 Fully inclusive and affirming

Genre(s): Theology

Topic(s): Accepting one's sexuality, Biblical studies, Inclusive Christianity, Pastoral issues, and Translation issues

Especially suitable for: Evangelicals

Marcus Green makes three startlingly honest confessions. His first, that he is an Anglican; his second, that he is an evangelical; and finally, his third, that he is gay. It is these uncompromising and at times conflicting standpoints that make the basis for this compelling, compassionate, perhaps controversial but absolutely crucial book on attitudes towards homosexuality in the Christian faith.

Rational yet fiercely passionate, Marcus starts by tackling some of the Scriptures that have been used to condemn gay people. He then looks beyond these texts to the bigger biblical story, taking the reader on a journey that reveals the Bible as a place of radical inclusion and love. Finally, addressing the conservative contemporary orthodoxy often expected of the Christian community, Marcus explores the alienation and division that the ‘party line’ has on Christians both gay and straight, and offers an alternative vision of hope.

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Queer Theologies

by Chris Greenough

Standpoint: 1 Fully inclusive and affirming

Genre(s): Academic writing and Theology

Topic(s): Gender identity, Liberation Theology, and Queer theology

Especially suitable for: Academics and Clergy

Queer Theologies: The Basics is a concise and illuminating introduction to the study of this subject area. This book provides an accessible exploration into the major themes within queer studies, queer theologies, and themes of gender and sexuality in Christianity.

Standpoint: 1 Fully inclusive and affirming

Genre(s): Academic writing, Spirituality, and Theology

Topic(s): Biblical studies, Homosexuality in the Bible, Queer theology, and Spirituality

Especially suitable for: Academics

The Queer Bible Commentary brings together the work of several scholars and pastors known for their interest in the areas of gender, sexuality and biblical studies. Rather than a traditional verse-by-verse analysis, this volume focuses specifically upon those portions of the Bible that have particular relevance for readers interested in LGBT issues such as the construction of gender and sexuality, the reification of heterosexuality, the question of lesbian and gay ancestry within the Bible, the transgendered voices of the prophets, the use of the Bible in contemporary political, socio-economic and religious spheres and the impact upon LGBT communities. Accordingly, the commentary raises new questions and re-directs more traditional questions in fresh and innovative ways, offering new angles of approach.

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Changing Our Mind

by David P Gushee

Standpoint: 1 Fully inclusive and affirming

Genre(s): Memoir/autobiography and Theology

Topic(s): Biblical studies, Discrimination against and hostility towards LGBT+ people, Ethics, Homosexuality in the Bible, Inclusive Christianity, Pastoral issues, Same-sex relationships, and Scripture/tradition/reason

Especially suitable for: Academics, Evangelicals, and Those struggling to accept their sexuality or gender identity

In Changing Our Mind, Gushee takes the reader along his personal and theological journey as he changes his mind about gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender inclusion in the Church.

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Living It Out

by Rachel Hagger-Holt, Sarah Hagger-Holt

Standpoint: 1 Fully inclusive and affirming

Genre(s): Advice – spiritual and practical, Contemporary Christian practice and experience, Liturgy/worship, Memoir/autobiography, and Spirituality

Topic(s): Accepting one's sexuality, Inclusive Christianity, and Spirituality

Especially suitable for: Clergy and Those struggling to accept their sexuality or gender identity

The issue of sexuality is a question with which all mainstream churches are now engaged. Attitudes are changing and it is often a painful journey for all concerned, however they may affected. Here is a practical and affirming book for everyone facing this controversial issue, whether they are a gay or lesbian Christian seeking to live with integrity, a friend or family member, or a church leader seeking understanding and guidance.

The authors draw on the experiences of a wide circle of friends and acquaintances who have been personally involved with this issue. They use stories, reflections, readings, prayers, cartoons and top tips to suggest practical ways of managing and enriching relationships with God, the church, and other people.

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A Theology of Desire

by Suzanne DeWitt Hall

Standpoint: 1 Fully inclusive and affirming

Genre(s): Contemporary Christian practice and experience, Devotional writing, Spirituality, and Theology

Topic(s): Accepting one's sexuality, Healing/growing into wholeness, Inclusive Christianity, Marriage and relationships, Queer theology, and Spirituality

Especially suitable for: Contemplatives

Desire and longing are part of the human condition. But we aren’t alone in our thirst: the essence of divinity is an intense yearning for unity. The meditations contained in these pages will not only change your view of God, they will help you experience God.

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Sex With God

by Suzanne DeWitt Hall

Standpoint: 1 Fully inclusive and affirming

Genre(s): Advice – spiritual and practical, Contemporary Christian practice and experience, Devotional writing, Spirituality, and Theology

Topic(s): Accepting one's sexuality, Healing/growing into wholeness, Queer theology, and Spirituality

Especially suitable for: Therapists and pastors

Involving God in your sex life may sound scandalous, but sexuality was designed by our creator and is saturated with the very being of God. So why not invite the divine in? The concept may feel awkward at first, because we’ve been trained by purity culture and centuries of mistrust of our bodies and our desires. But God wants to be part of all we do. God is already there when you are naked with your beloved. God is within you, and within them, and between you both. Be brave. Enter into that presence. You have the power to transform sex into worship of God, with God.

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Where True Love Is

by Suzanne DeWitt Hall

Standpoint: 1 Fully inclusive and affirming

Genre(s): Devotional writing and Spirituality

Topic(s): Biblical studies, Gender identity, Marriage and relationships, and Spirituality

Where True Love Is offers a 90-day biblical exploration of God, Scripture, the law, gender, sexuality, marriage, and more. After reading it, you’ll be able to offer a Bible-based defence of the validity of LGBTQI+ Christian faith. More importantly, you’ll encounter the gorgeous, loving complexity of a God who can’t be stuffed into a book-sized box.

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Reasonable and Holy

by Tobias Stanislas Haller

Standpoint: 1 Fully inclusive and affirming

Genre(s): Academic writing and Theology

Topic(s): Equal marriage, Ethics, Marriage and relationships, Pastoral issues, Same-sex relationships, and Scripture/tradition/reason

Especially suitable for: Academics, Anglicans, and Anglo-Catholics

Tobias Haller is a theologian and a priest in The Episcopal Church [USA]. Reasonable and Holy presents a calm, reasoned argument for why same-sexuality is part of God’s creation and takes nothing away from opposite-sex couples and institutions. Without using ad hominem attacks or overblown partisan rhetoric, Fr Haller demonstrates how even the most coherent and reasonable conservative positions fail to convince when examined thoroughly in the light of Scripture, tradition and reason.

Reasonable and Holy deals with same-sex relationships in general, but is primarily concerned with how the marriage of same-sex couples fits well within the Christian understanding of marriage.

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The Homosexuality Debate

by Catherine Sider Hamilton

Standpoint: 0 Not yet classified

Genre(s): Academic writing, Spirituality, and Theology

Topic(s): Biblical studies, Church order and discipline, Discrimination against and hostility towards LGBT+ people, Homosexuality in the Bible, Marriage and relationships, Pastoral issues, Same-sex relationships, Scripture/tradition/reason, and Spirituality

Especially suitable for: Academics, Anglicans, Church of England, and Those who are undecided about the homosexuality issue

A collection of essays from Anglican lay people and clergy (including former Archbishop Rowan Williams), exploring how we understand homosexuality, our faith, Scripture, and the relationship between the church, our culture, and the world.

How do we understand homosexuality? This issue touches on the foundations of Christian faith and the context in which it is lived. The authors of these essays represent a wide range of views. All express a passionate concern for the church in this time of crisis, and offer a sign of hope in this divisive debate.

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Loving Men

by Richard P Hardy

Standpoint: 1 Fully inclusive and affirming

Genre(s): Academic writing, Memoir/autobiography, and Spirituality

Topic(s): HIV and AIDS, Illness, Same-sex relationships, and Spirituality

Especially suitable for: Gay men

Containing interviews with 30 men who cared for partners with AIDS, and who all – from both a humanist and religious perspective – recognise that in the act of caring and in the special dynamic that being gay men in a partnership has, this book discusses a deep spiritual component. While several of the interviewees rejected organised religion in their coming out and living as gay men, all suggest that their lives have been deepened through two components of all faiths – the act of service and unconditional love.

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Holy Love

by Steve Harper

Standpoint: 1 Fully inclusive and affirming

Genre(s): Academic writing, Contemporary Christian practice and experience, and Theology

Topic(s): Biblical studies, Ethics, Homosexuality in the Bible, Inclusive Christianity, and Same-sex relationships

Especially suitable for: Methodists and Those who are undecided about the homosexuality issue

Do conservatives or progressives ‘own’ the teachings about what the Bible says about human sexuality and marriage? For some – perhaps a vocal minority – the question is no longer up for debate or discussion: conservatives win. For others, the issues are not that simple. A fresh, rigorous, but yet concise, theological examination of the Bible’s teachings is required. There are other ways to interpret scripture faithfully with respect to sexuality other than the conservative interpretation. In Holy Love, Steve Harper strives to articulate the truth about the teachings of the Bible and Wesleyan tradition on human sexuality.

This very accessible book is intended for church leaders, small groups, and those interested in understanding the Bible’s teaching on this fundamental component of human life, experience and relationships. The book will help church leaders and small groups make the constructive case that biblical, Christian teaching is compatible with faithful, covenantal love and intimacy amidst all sexual orientations.

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Transforming

by Austen Hartke

Standpoint: 1 Fully inclusive and affirming

Genre(s): Contemporary Christian practice and experience, Memoir/autobiography, and Spirituality

Topic(s): Biblical studies, Gender identity, Inclusive Christianity, Spirituality, and Transgender people

Especially suitable for: Those struggling to accept their sexuality or gender identity and Transgender people

Many people – even many LGBTQ allies – still lack understanding of gender identity and the transgender experience. Into this void, Austen Hartke offers a biblically-based, educational, and affirming resource to shed light and wisdom on this modern gender landscape.

Transforming: The Bible and the Lives of Transgender Christians provides access into an underrepresented and misunderstood community and will change the way readers think about transgender people, faith, and the future of Christianity. By introducing transgender issues and language and providing stories of both biblical characters and real-life narratives from transgender Christians living today, Hartke helps readers visualize a more inclusive Christianity, equipping them with the confidence and tools to change both the church and the world.

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Homosexuality and Religion

by Richard L Hasbany

Standpoint: 0 Not yet classified

Genre(s): Academic writing, Contemporary Christian practice and experience, and Studies in Religion

Topic(s): Discrimination against and hostility towards LGBT+ people, Same-sex relationships, and Studies in Religion

Especially suitable for: Academics, Clergy, Therapists and pastors, and Those who are undecided about the homosexuality issue

Here is a comprehensive historical overview of the recent discussions in the Judaeo-Christian religions regarding homosexuality. This wide-ranging volume features insightful new perspectives on the relationship between the church and homosexuals. Aimed at scholars, religious professionals, counsellors, and therapists, Homosexuality and Religion provides valuable information on both historical and contemporary religious thought and life and homosexuality. Some of the topics include gay and lesbian clergy, psychological/pastoral counselling for lesbians and gay men, and the church and homophobia.

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Anglican Communion in Crisis

by Miranda K Hassett

Standpoint: 1 Fully inclusive and affirming

Genre(s): Academic writing, History, and Theology

Topic(s): African Christianity, Church order and discipline, Discrimination against and hostility towards LGBT+ people, Homosexuality in the Bible, and Politics

Especially suitable for: Academics, Activists, and Anglicans

The sign outside the conservative, white church in the small southern U.S. town announces that the church is part of the Episcopal Church – of Rwanda. In Anglican Communion in Crisis, Miranda Hassett tells the fascinating story of how a new alliance between conservative American Episcopalians and African Anglicans is transforming conflicts between American Episcopalians – especially over homosexuality – into global conflicts within the Anglican church.

In the mid-1990s, conservative American Episcopalians and Anglican leaders from Africa and other parts of the Southern Hemisphere began to forge ties in opposition to the American Episcopal Church’s perceived liberalism and growing toleration of homosexuality. This resulted in dozens of American Episcopal churches submitting to the authority of African bishops.

Based on wide research, interviews with key participants and observers, and months Hassett spent in a southern U.S. parish of the Episcopal Church of Rwanda and in Anglican communities in Uganda, Anglican Communion in Crisis is the first anthropological examination of the coalition between American Episcopalians and African Anglicans.

The book challenges common views – that the relationship between the Americans and Africans is merely one of convenience or even that the Americans bought the support of the Africans. Instead, Hassett argues that their partnership is a deliberate and committed movement that has tapped the power and language of globalisation in an effort to move both the American Episcopal Church and the worldwide Anglican Communion to the right.

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Standpoint: 3 Neutral

Genre(s): Academic writing and Theology

Topic(s): Accepting one's sexuality, Biblical studies, Ethics, Marriage and relationships, Parents of LGBT+ children, and Same-sex relationships

Especially suitable for: Those who are undecided about the homosexuality issue

This collection of essays by a wide variety of Anglican theologians, pastors, and ethicists addresses the urgent questions of human sexuality and the church that divide and confuse many Christians today. Topics include the theological grounding of sexual ethics, the purpose of the Christian household, spiritual direction and sexuality, parenting the gay child, same-sex unions, conflict and parish life, the ordination of gay and lesbian people, hospitality and inclusiveness in the church, and the scriptural testimony of the New Testament. Includes a study guide for congregations and small groups.

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