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 now, please use the Search bar at the top right of each page, which will search everything on the site. 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. Click on the author name(s) for information on that author plus a list of other books by the author on this site.

Publication date: 2009

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.

Publication date: 2003

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.

Publication date: 1998

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.

book cover

Holy Love

Publication date: 2019

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.

Publication date: 2018

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.

Publication date: 2013

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.

Publication date: 2009

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.

book cover

Witness

Publication date: 1999

Standpoint: 1 Fully inclusive and affirming

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

Topic(s): Accepting one's sexuality, Church order and discipline, Coming out, Healing/growing into wholeness, Journeys towards acceptance, and Pastoral issues

Especially suitable for: Clergy and Therapists and pastors

Based on interviews with gay and lesbian clergy, Dann Hazel constructs a mosaic depicting the ministry of gays and lesbians across the denominational spectrum. He poignantly describes the personal challenges these clergy face in their efforts to do constructive work in theology in order to build faith communities where gay men and lesbians can flourish spiritually.

Publication date: 1996

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.

Publication date: 2020

Standpoint: 1 Fully inclusive and affirming

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

Topic(s): Biblical studies, Equal marriage, Ethics, Inclusive Christianity, Liberation Theology, Marriage and relationships, Queer theology, and Same-sex relationships

Especially suitable for: Theological educators, Clergy, and Therapists and pastors

A transformative exploration of queer theology and the debate around same-sex marriage within the Church. Clare Herbert draws on her experience as a priest within the Church of England in a committed same-sex relationship and considers the questions that have shaped religious debate for many years.

Publication date: 2006

Standpoint: 0 Not yet classified

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

Topic(s): Ethics, Marriage and relationships, Same-sex relationships, and Spirituality

Especially suitable for: Anglicans, Church of England, and Clergy

This book addresses the issues discussed at the Lambeth Conference of Anglican bishops and primates in 1998 in a reflective, discursive manner, and looks to recommending, by example, different ways of holy living for gay and lesbian couples.

Jeffrey Heskins takes a step back from heated rhetoric to listen to Christians who are committed both to ordained ministry in the Church of England and to a life of holiness with a partner of the same sex. As Heskins invites these couples to tell their stories and reflects on their experiences, he raises difficult questions: What does it mean to live a ‘holy life’? Should the pattern for ‘holy living’ be any different for gay and lesbian couples in ministry than for others? Based on more than thirty hours of recorded interviews with couples all across England.

Publication date: 2001

Standpoint: 1 Fully inclusive and affirming

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

Topic(s): Inclusive Christianity, Journeys towards acceptance, Marriage and relationships, Pastoral issues, and Same-sex relationships

Unheard Voices describes the experience at St Luke’s Church, Charlton, of twenty years of providing a service of blessing for same-sex couples and the theological reflection that took place within the congregation on this ministry.

The story begins in 1979 with the request by two men who had lived together for nineteen years to have their relationship blessed in church. They subsequently became prominent members of the church community. Since then forty-five same-sex couples have sought and received a blessing. It is both their voices and the voices of other members of the congregation of St Luke’s, most of whom support the blessings, some who do not, who are the unheard voices of the title of the book.

Publication date: 1989

Standpoint: 1 Fully inclusive and affirming

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

Topic(s): Feminism/Womanism and Queer theology

Especially suitable for: Lesbians

The uncompromising writings of one of present-day Christianity’s most original thinkers, inviting us to respond faithfully and radically by taking the risks necessary to secure genuine justice in society.

Publication date: 2019

Standpoint: 1 Fully inclusive and affirming

Genre(s): Spirituality and Theology

Topic(s): Biblical studies, Homosexuality in the Bible, Inclusive Christianity, Pastoral issues, and Spirituality

Into a confusing and often painful debate, A Place at His Table offers clarity, insight, and warmth. Holding firmly to the Bible, Joel Hollier leads us in a journey where we can re-examine traditional understandings, ask fresh questions, and enter a place of welcome for all people in God’s church. Whether you are a leader, pastor, or congregation member who is seeking to love well, this timely book will equip you to enter the discussion in faithful, informed, and nuanced ways.

Publication date: 1997

Standpoint: 1 Fully inclusive and affirming

Genre(s): Memoir/autobiography

Topic(s): Accepting one's sexuality, Discrimination against and hostility towards LGBT+ people, Healing/growing into wholeness, Journeys towards acceptance, and Pastoral issues

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

The author is a retired scientist/engineer, local preacher and inclusive Christian. In 1992 he went from being anti-gay to a simple ministry of friendship, support and Christian love, for lesbian and gay Christians especially.

Publication date: 2020

Standpoint: 1 Fully inclusive and affirming

Genre(s): Contemporary Christian practice and experience, Devotional writing, Liturgy/worship, Memoir/autobiography, Poetry, Spirituality, and Studies in Religion

Topic(s): Discrimination against and hostility towards LGBT+ people, Inclusive Christianity, Queer theology, Spirituality, and Studies in Religion

Curated by Ruth Hunt, this is a vital collection of essays by LGBT writers exploring sexuality, faith and religion. Is it possible to believe in God and be gay? How does it feel to be excluded from a religious community because of your sexuality? Why do some people still believe being gay is an abomination? In this challenging and eye-opening collection of essays, former CEO of Stonewall Ruth Hunt invites Queer Prophets from around the world to share how they have been affected by these two aspects of their identity. Jeanette Winterson explains we all need to avoid using false binaries. Amrou Al-Kadhi writes about trying to make it as a Muslim drag queen in London. Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s daughter, Mpho Tutu van Furth, relates her grief at being forced to give up her ministry in South Africa. Keith Jarrett reflects on his feelings of avoidance and shame in light of his Pentecostal upbringing, and John Bell writes about his decision to come out later on in life. Essays from: Jeanette Winterson, Mpho Tutu van Furth, Tamsin Omond, Dustin Lance Black, Amrou Al-Kadhi, Garrard Conley, Jarel Robinson-Brown, Andre Musskopf, Judith Kotze, John Bell, Padraig O Tauma, Keith Jarrett, Rachel Mann, Phyll Opoku-Gyimah, Erin Clark, Karl Rutlidge, Jeannie Gramick and Lucy Knight. Afterword: Kate Bottley

book cover

Publication date: 2003

Standpoint: 0 Not yet classified

Genre(s): Humour, Memoir/autobiography, Spirituality, and Theology

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

This book aims to show how, in the author’s words, we can “live our sexualities well”. By looking at how we should treat each other in the light of Jesus’ command that we should love our neighbours as ourselves, Ind is able to relate the human experience of sex to our ultimate knowledge of God. Ind acknowledges that, while there are many ways of being sexual, the memories, yearnings and fantasies of human beings, in all their diversity, reflect the multi-dimensionality of the creator and his works. She regards much writing on sex, and the prudish and censorious comment that surrounds it, as being dishonest and, in the end, blasphemous. This book aims to completely overturn the Christian consensus on sex, and challenges that mentality which shies away from addressing sexuality directly, or as something apart from those other God-given and fundamental characteristics of human beings that image the divine. Jo Ind has Multiple Sclerosis and, in describing her illness, frequently with self-deprecating good humour, as well as in a succinct, no-nonsense style, she shows us how multi-faceted and diverse human sexuality can be.

Publication date: 1998

Standpoint: 1 Fully inclusive and affirming

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

Topic(s): Biblical studies, Ethics, Gender identity, and Inclusive Christianity

Especially suitable for: Academics

This book sets out to examine the ambiguous relationship that Christianity has with the body. Incarnation is central to Christian belief but that doctrine has not encouraged a positive theology of the body. The authors explore why this has been so and examine ways in which a more body-positive theology can be developed using our Christian heritage. Starting from a feminist perspective they reclaim women’s bodies from the embrace of patriarchy and in doing so clearly show how this reclamation challenges many systems of oppression. This work illustrates that the personal is political, even in theology!

Publication date: 2003

Standpoint: 1 Fully inclusive and affirming

Genre(s): Academic writing and Theology

Topic(s): Biblical studies, Homosexuality in the Bible, Inclusive Christianity, Queer theology, Same-sex relationships, and Sex and sexuality in Ancient Rome

Especially suitable for: Academics, Theological educators, and Those who are undecided about the homosexuality issue

Homosexuality has been at the forefront of debate in the church for decades, with biblical interpretation at the heart of this debate. Some biblical passages appear to condemn certain same-sex relationships or erotic practices, resulting in a challenge to clergy as well as laity regarding the preaching and understanding of these biblical passages. In The Man Jesus Loved, Jennings proposes a gay-affirmative reading of the Bible in the hope of respecting the integrity of these texts and making them more clear as well as persuasive. This reading suggests that the exclusion of persons on the basis of their sexual orientation or same-sex practices fundamentally distorts the Bible generally and the traditions concerning Jesus in particular.

Publication date: 2017

Standpoint: 1 Fully inclusive and affirming

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

Topic(s): Biblical studies

LGBTQ Christians read, love, scrutinize, become absorbed with, and find deep spiritual meaning in the Bible. As these testimonies show, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and other queer Christians are inaugurating a fresh, exciting, new era in biblical interpretation. It is they whose rare insights into particular Bible stories and characters, told with poignancy and clarity, reveal a gay-friendly Bible and a gay-friendly God who cherishes and needs them just as they are. It is they who are running to the Bible with a longing for the Holy Spirit that far surpasses that of too many straight Christians. If given free rein, these inventive, challenging, and profoundly engaged evangelists may be the ones we have been waiting for to rescue biblical interpretation from those who too often are not only hurtful but dismal and boring. Thank God for them!

Publication date: 2012

Standpoint: 1 Fully inclusive and affirming

Genre(s): Theology

Topic(s): Biblical studies, Church order and discipline, Equal marriage, Homosexuality in the Bible, Marriage and relationships, Pastoral issues, and Same-sex relationships

Especially suitable for: Anglicans and Church of England

The Very Reverend Dr Jeffrey John, Dean of St Albans, explores the meaning and context of the mentions of homosexuality in the Bible and also considers the moral arguments, before offering guidance to same-sex couples on forming a lasting, covenanted, monogamous relationship. This book is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand the theology of same-sex relationships in a Christian context.

This new edition has been updated to take account of the latest thinking on the issue. In a brand new Preface and Postscript, Jeffrey John speaks forthrightly about the Church of England’s failure to move positively in support of same-sex marriage.

Publication date: 2006

Standpoint: 1 Fully inclusive and affirming

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

Topic(s): Biblical studies, Church order and discipline, Discrimination against and hostility towards LGBT+ people, Equal marriage, Homosexuality in the Bible, Marriage and relationships, Politics, and Same-sex relationships

Especially suitable for: Academics, Americans, and Those who are undecided about the homosexuality issue

In A Time to Embrace William Stacy Johnson brilliantly analyses the religious, legal, and political debates about gay marriage, civil unions, and committed gay couples in the USA. This second edition was first published in 2011, so is inevitably somewhat out of date, but is still well worth reading.

Publication date: 2001

Standpoint: 1 Fully inclusive and affirming

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

Topic(s): Ethics

Especially suitable for: Academics

The topic of sexual ethics and interest in sexuality in theology generally, has grown considerably in recent years. Mark Jordan has written a provocative and stimulating introduction to the issues involved, filling a much-needed void in this field. Jordan summarizes key topics and themes in the teaching and discussion of religious ethics as well as pushing forward the debate in interesting and original directions.

The Ethics of Sex is divided into three parts, covering problems in principles of ethics, difficulties in the history of ethics, such as marriage, divorce, and crimes against nature; and finally, new possibilities in Christianity, such as redeeming pleasure. The discussion throughout the volume shows the distinctive power of Christian rhetoric to create, develop, and impose moral identities for which sex is central. Some of these identities are positive, such as the Virgin Martyr, which others are sexual sin-identities, such as the Adulterer or the Sodomite. However, we can only move beyond these established “characters” by recognizing that they were written to be theological roles – and that some theology may be needed to rewrite them.

Publication date: 1997

Standpoint: 1 Fully inclusive and affirming

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

Topic(s): Church order and discipline, Discrimination against and hostility towards LGBT+ people, and Ethics

Especially suitable for: Academics, Theological educators, and Catholics

In this startling original work of historical detection, Mark D. Jordan explores the invention of ‘sodomy’ by medieval Christendom, examining its conceptual foundations in theology and gauging its impact on Christian sexual ethics both then and now. This book is for everyone involved in the ongoing debate within organized religions and society in general over moral judgments of same-sex eroticism.

Publication date: 2018

Standpoint: 2 Moderately inclusive

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

Topic(s): Biblical studies, Ethics, Homosexuality in the Bible, Pastoral issues, and Scripture/tradition/reason

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

“When it comes to same-sex relationships, there is one thing we cannot forget – people,” says Karen Keen. In this cogent book Keen presents fresh evidence from Scripture, Christian tradition, theology, and science. With pastoral sensitivity and respect for biblical authority, Scripture, Ethics, and the Possibility of Same-Sex Relationships derives from Scripture itself a principled and consistent way of applying biblical teaching to this difficult topic. Keen helpfully casts biblical insights in the context of how the church has responded to gays and lesbians throughout history. Keen’s even-handed re-evaluation will appeal to both traditionalist and progressive church leaders and parishioners, students of ethics and biblical studies, and gay and lesbian people who often feel painfully torn between faith and sexuality.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7