Recommended Books List

The books are listed in alphabetical order of the main author’s surname, 25 books per page. You can browse the list, and can filter the books to find ones on a given topic, in a specific genre or from a particular standpoint – see the Filter this List box. You can also 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: 2019

Standpoint: 1 Fully inclusive and affirming

Genre(s): Devotional writing and Theology

Topic(s): Biblical studies, Discrimination against and hostility towards LGBT+ people, Homosexuality in the Bible, Inclusive Christianity, and Pastoral issues

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

The stories of Scripture are for everyone. No exceptions. Emmy Kegler has a complicated relationship with the Bible. As a queer woman who grew up in both conservative Evangelical and progressive Protestant churches, she knows too well how Scripture can be used to wound and exclude. And yet, the stories of Scripture continue to captivate and inspire her – both as a person of faith and as a pastor to a congregation. So she set out to fall in love with the Bible, wrestling with the stories inside, where she met a God who continues to seek us out – appearing again and again as a voice, a presence, and a promise. Whenever we are pushed to the edges, our voices silenced, or our stories dismissed, God goes out after us – seeking us until we are found again. And God is seeking out those whose voices we too quickly silence and dismiss, too. Because God’s story is a story of welcome and acceptance for everyone – no exceptions.

Publication date: 2018

Standpoint: 1 Fully inclusive and affirming

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

Topic(s): Accepting one's sexuality, Biblical studies, Inclusive Christianity, Liberation Theology, Queer theology, and Spirituality

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

Mihee Kim-Kort is a wife, a mom, and a Presbyterian minister. And she’s queer. As she became aware of her queer sexuality, Mihee wondered what that meant for her spirituality. But instead of pushing her away from God, it brought her closer to Jesus and taught her how to love better. In Outside the Lines, Mihee shows us how God, in Jesus, is oriented toward us in a radical way. Through the life, work, and witness of Jesus, we see a God who loves us with a queer love, and our faith in that God becomes a queer spirituality – a spirituality that crashes through definitions and moves us outside of the categories of our making. Whenever we love ourselves and our neighbours with the boundary-breaking love of God, we live out this spirituality in the world. With a captivating mix of personal story and biblical analysis, Outside the Lines shows us how each of our bodies fits into the body of Christ. Outside the lines and without exceptions.

Publication date: 2012

Standpoint: 1 Fully inclusive and affirming

Genre(s): Memoir/autobiography

Topic(s): Discrimination against and hostility towards LGBT+ people

Especially suitable for: Evangelicals

Distraught about the lack of empathy for LGBT persons in his conservative religious upbringing, the author posed as a gay man in order to experience and to understand how that impacts people’s lives.

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Publication date: 2013

Standpoint: 1 Fully inclusive and affirming

Genre(s): Memoir/autobiography

Topic(s): 'Ex-gay' movement/ministries, Accepting one's sexuality, Biblical studies, Coming out, Conversion therapy/Reparative therapy, Discrimination against and hostility towards LGBT+ people, Healing/growing into wholeness, Homosexuality in the Bible, Journeys towards acceptance, Pastoral issues, and Same-sex relationships

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

Justin Lee is the founder and executive director of the Gay Christian Network (GCN), a non-profit, interdenominational organisation working to increase dialogue between gays and Christians and support people on both sides wrestling with related issues. A passionate Christian from a conservative evangelical background, Justin thought he knew everything there was to know about the Christian approach to homosexuality – until unexpected events turned his world upside down and forced him to reconsider everything he believed. Today, his organisation works with individuals, families and churches to stop the debate from tearing people apart. In this compelling memoir Lee tells the story of his journey to self-acceptance as a gay Christian.

Publication date: 2013

Standpoint: 1 Fully inclusive and affirming

Genre(s): Memoir/autobiography

Topic(s): Accepting one's sexuality, Inclusive Christianity, and Parents of LGBT+ children

Especially suitable for: Evangelicals, Parents of LGBT+ children, Those struggling to accept their sexuality or gender identity, and Young people

When Jacqueline Ley’s 23-year-old son told her that he was gay, she was shocked and hurt. Her fundamentalist Christian background told her that homosexuality was sinful and that her son had placed himself beyond the pale. But she underwent a remarkable transformation of attitude. A mother’s journey from craving ‘normality’ for her child to celebrating him as a blessedly extraordinary creature of God.

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Outspoken

Publication date: 2011

Standpoint: 1 Fully inclusive and affirming

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

Topic(s): Accepting one's sexuality, Coming out, Discrimination against and hostility towards LGBT+ people, Journeys towards acceptance, and Pastoral issues

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

Outspoken presents the narratives of eleven people who have come out in the Anglican Church in New Zealand, including two ordained church members. The author has written a general introduction, plus an introduction to each individual story and reflections on it.

This book closes with a postscript that discusses truth and the Church; community, belonging and rejection; ideas about hell and damnation; the theology of denial; and the implications and ramifications of the ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ approach. The author notes that ‘People’s lives are sacred ground and the area of sexuality is one where people are arguably at their most vulnerable’. She hopes that this research will contribute to community building within the Anglican Church.

Publication date: 2013

Standpoint: 1 Fully inclusive and affirming

Genre(s): Academic writing and Theology

Topic(s): Biblical studies, Homosexuality in the Bible, and Translation issues

Especially suitable for: Academics

Love Lost in Translation systematically examines the biblical stories and passages that are generally assumed to deal with, or comment on, homoerotic relationships: Noah and Ham, Sodom and Gomorrah, Leviticus 18:22, Deuteronomy 23:17–18, Judges 19, Romans 1:26–27, and 1 Corinthians 6:9. K Renato Lings convincingly demonstrates that mistranslations of these texts into Greek, Latin and other languages occurred early, and that serious errors continue to be committed by translators today.

Publication date: 2014

Standpoint: 1 Fully inclusive and affirming

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

Topic(s): Accepting one's sexuality, Discrimination against and hostility towards LGBT+ people, Healing/growing into wholeness, Inclusive Christianity, Journeys towards acceptance, LGBT+ activism, Same-sex relationships, and Spirituality

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

If you have ever tried to talk to your Christian friends and family about LGBTQ issues only to have it end in a heated debate, you are not alone. But there is hope! Thousands have used the tools in this book to heal relationships that once seemed broken beyond repair and you can too.

Filled with humour and inspirational essays, this meticulously researched book will help you talk with Christians in a way that invites mutual respect and understanding. Only through meaningful and heartfelt discussions can hearts and minds change. This book is an indispensable tool for supporters of the LGBTQ community as well as Christians striving to be more compassionate and understanding while still honouring their faith. By confronting one of this generation’s most volatile social issues with civility and respect, Hearts & Minds: Talking to Christians about Homosexuality shifts the emphasis away from political arguments and toward changing religious attitudes – creating space for profound healing and reconciliation between two communities who often find themselves at odds.

Publication date: 2013

Standpoint: 1 Fully inclusive and affirming

Genre(s): Memoir/autobiography and Spirituality

Topic(s): Accepting one's sexuality, Coming out, Journeys towards acceptance, Same-sex relationships, and Spirituality

Especially suitable for: Contemplatives and Lesbians

Out of print for two decades, Lesbian Nuns: Breaking Silence is back with a new foreword analysing the unprecedented impact it had on the lesbian community and mainstream culture. In new afterwords, the co-editors reveal how the book came to be and what happened to their lives when, for the first time in history, a lesbian book from a small publisher went mainstream. Each nun in these stories describes her individual and searing path into, or out of, the convent to discover and face the truth of herself. Still myth-shattering, the stories remind us of the courage required to live – and love – in congruence with our authentic selves.

Publication date: 2012

Standpoint: 1 Fully inclusive and affirming

Genre(s): Memoir/autobiography and Spirituality

Topic(s): Disability, Discrimination against and hostility towards LGBT+ people, Gender identity, Illness, and Transgender people

Especially suitable for: Transgender people and Workers with young people

Dazzling Darkness is Rachel Mann’s honest and moving account of her search for her authentic self in the company of the Living God. She has had to face many painful struggles in that process, including transitioning, coming to terms with chronic illness and disability, and dealing with ignorance and prejudice.

Publication date: 2019

Standpoint: 1 Fully inclusive and affirming

Genre(s): Academic writing and Theology

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

Especially suitable for: Academics

Rather than focusing on the more common defensive responses to those expected proof-texts that supposedly address homosexuality, the essays in this collection reflect the range, rigour, vitality, and creativity of other interpretive options influenced by queer studies. Thus key concepts and practices for understanding these letters in terms of history, theology, empire, gender, race, and ethnicity, among others, are rethought through queer interventions within both ancient settings and more recent history and literature.

Publication date: 2009

Standpoint: 1 Fully inclusive and affirming

Genre(s): Memoir/autobiography and Theology

Topic(s): Accepting one's sexuality, Biblical studies, Discrimination against and hostility towards LGBT+ people, Ethics, Homosexuality in the Bible, Pastoral issues, and Same-sex relationships

Especially suitable for: Evangelicals

In this book Jeremy relates his own journey through 20 years of ministry with Courage (UK), a group he founded in February 1988 to offer support for people who experience a conflict between their faith and their sexuality. Initially Courage (UK)’s ministry was based on the theory that a change in sexual orientation could be achieved through prayer and fellowship. Alternatively, acceptance of lifelong celibacy might result. However, Jeremy soon became struck by the failure of this ministry (and others like it) to produce any long-term results that really stood up to scrutiny. Worse, psychological harm or other damaging effects could result. To continue with integrity Jeremy decided he had to change the direction of Courage (UK) to become an affirming ministry supporting people as they are rather than trying to change them. (This controversial decision in 2001 meant the withdrawal of much funding support from evangelical sources.) Jeremy relates with sincerity how he arrived at that conclusion. This is a book written by a man very much on the ‘front lines’ of this area of ministry, and his words portray not only sensitivity and compassion, but also a great love for the Gospel. Rather than attempt to put down the ministries of others, he always shows respect and Christian love for those who do not agree with him.

Publication date: 2004

Standpoint: 1 Fully inclusive and affirming

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

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

Especially suitable for: Clergy and Therapists and pastors

Same-Sex Unions, a contribution to the continuing debate on the church’s pastoral care, offers biographical vignettes of two committed couples who have had their unions liturgically blessed in church and also contains complete texts of several same-sex rites, together with liturgical analysis and reference to secondary literature.

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UnClobber

Publication date: 2016

Standpoint: 1 Fully inclusive and affirming

Genre(s): Memoir/autobiography and Theology

Topic(s): Accepting one's sexuality, Biblical studies, Coming out, Discrimination against and hostility towards LGBT+ people, Homosexuality in the Bible, Inclusive Christianity, Same-sex relationships, Scripture/tradition/reason, Sex and sexuality in Ancient Rome, and Translation issues

Especially suitable for: Evangelicals

In his sincere memoir, Martin tells his story of moving out of the restrictive closet before exploring linguistics, traditions, and sex in the Bible. After coming to accept same-gender love and marriage, evangelical pastor Martin tried to move his denomination in the same direction. The church responded by firing him.

UnClobber reexamines what the Bible says (and does not say) about homosexuality. “The words ‘homosexuals’ and ‘homosexuality’ have zero business being in the Bible,” Martin concludes after considerable research into biblical language. He then looks at same-sex love in ancient and modern cultures as well as mistranslations and misreadings of the Bible.

Publication date: 2006

Standpoint: 1 Fully inclusive and affirming

Genre(s): Academic writing and Theology

Topic(s): Biblical studies, Discrimination against and hostility towards LGBT+ people, Equal marriage, Gender identity, Homosexuality in the Bible, Same-sex relationships, Sex and sexuality in Ancient Rome, and Translation issues

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

Probing into numerous questions about gender and sexuality, Dale Martin delves into the biblical texts anew and unearths surprising findings. Avoiding preconceptions about ancient sexuality, he explores the ethics of desire and marriage and pays careful attention to the original meanings of words, especially those used as evidence of Paul’s opposition to homosexuality. For example, after a remarkably faithful reading of the scriptural texts, Martin concludes that our contemporary obsession with marriage – and the whole search for the “right” sexual relationships – is antithetical to the message of the gospel. In all of these essays, however, Martin argues for engaging Scripture in a way that goes beyond the standard historical-critical questions and the assumptions of textual agency in order to find a faith that has no foundations other than Jesus Christ.

Publication date: 2017

Standpoint: 1 Fully inclusive and affirming

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

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

Especially suitable for: Catholics

On the day after the Orlando nightclub shooting, James Martin SJ posted a video on Facebook in which he called for solidarity with our LGBT brothers and sisters. “The largest mass shooting in US history took place at a gay club and the LGBT community has been profoundly affected,” he began. He then implored his fellow Catholics – and people everywhere – to “stand not only with the people of Orlando but also with their LGBT brothers and sisters.” A powerful call for tolerance, acceptance, and support – and a reminder of Jesus’ message for us to love one another – Father Martin’s post went viral and was viewed more than 1.6 million times. Now, Martin expands on his reflections in this moving and inspiring book, offering a powerful, loving, and much-needed voice in a time marked by anger, prejudice, and divisiveness. Building a Bridge provides a road-map for repairing and strengthening the bonds that unite all of us as God’s children. Martin uses the image of a two-way bridge to enable LGBT Catholics and Church leaders to come together in a call to end the “us” versus “them” mentality. Turning to the Catechism, he draws on the three criteria at the heart of the Christian ministry – “respect, compassion, and sensitivity” – as a model for how the Catholic Church should relate to the LGBT community.

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Coming In

Publication date: 2006

Standpoint: 1 Fully inclusive and affirming

Genre(s): Liturgy/worship, Memoir/autobiography, and Spirituality

Topic(s): Accepting one's sexuality, Same-sex relationships, and Spirituality

Urs Mattmann shows that the spiritual lives of LGBT people are no different from those of others on the Christian path throughout the ages; in fact, their particular life experiences put them in a better position to work for good in the world. The author describes practical steps that LGBT people can take in order to connect with their innate spiritual nature and express it in their daily lives and relationships. He provides prayers, meditations, rituals, exercises and other suggestions to foster spiritual discovery. Addressing the unique gifts that LGBT people have to offer to the whole Church and society in general – ‘queer’ gifts not only for personal development but also for service in and to the world – this book shows how a relevant and liberating spirituality can enrich the lives of LGBT people and their communities on every level.

Publication date: 2017

Standpoint: 1 Fully inclusive and affirming

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

Topic(s): Queer theology, Spirituality, and Studies in Religion

Especially suitable for: Academics and Contemplatives

Gay spirituality represents a hidden strand in Western thought that was only publicly declared from the gay liberation movement of the 1970s. Since ‘coming out’, expressions of gay spirituality have proliferated in both number and diversity. Beginning with gay theology within Christianity, the phenomenon has now reached as far as Buddhism and neo-paganism. But, so far, critical analysis of the movement has been very limited largely because gay spirituality has been treated as a political and social movement arguing for rights and acceptance within religious circles. A Special Illumination offers an in-depth analysis and argues that gay spirituality should be placed at the heart of religion.

Publication date: 2010

Standpoint: 1 Fully inclusive and affirming

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

Topic(s): Inclusive Christianity

Especially suitable for: Enquirers about Christianity

Groundbreaking author Brian McLaren, voice of the Christian emergent movement and author of the ‘New Kind of Christian’ series, poses ten controversial questions that could lead to a radical redefinition of the Christian faith. What is the overarching storyline of the Bible? What is the Gospel? Why is sexuality such a divisive issue among Christians? How should followers of Jesus relate to people of other religions? McLaren gives his own responses to these questions, inviting the reader to a new and generous way of thinking about Christianity.

Publication date: 2004

Standpoint: 1 Fully inclusive and affirming

Genre(s): Academic writing and Studies in Religion

Topic(s): Discrimination against and hostility towards LGBT+ people, Politics, and Studies in Religion

Especially suitable for: Academics and Methodists

God, Sex, and Politics examines both sides of the church controversy over homosexuality to consider the ways in which people develop, in everyday thought and interaction, their beliefs about God and justice.

Dawne Moon explores how members of Protestant congregations determine what is just and what is not, what is right and what is wrong, what is loving and what is sinful. She argues that the considerable turmoil surrounding homosexuality in churches has less to do with homosexuality than with the fear of weakening the church’s spiritual, communal solidarity.

Publication date: 1995

Standpoint: 1 Fully inclusive and affirming

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

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

Especially suitable for: Activists

In a time of rancorous debate over gender and the boundaries of religious community, certain voices speak plainly and prophetically about the necessary relationship among human foibles, grace, and resurrection. Celebrating her lesbian and Christian identities, Melanie Morrison calls on the church – and all people of goodwill – to welcome those wounded by alienation, shame, homophobia, disempowering images of humanity, and fear-based images of God.

Publication date: 1995

Standpoint: 1 Fully inclusive and affirming

Genre(s): Investigative journalism

Topic(s): Discrimination against and hostility towards LGBT+ people

Especially suitable for: Activists

In a searing analysis of the most recent political issues raised by the religious right in both the United States and Great Britain, including homosexuality and the churches, abortion, feminism and the collapse of the nuclear family, this controversial book exposes the hypocrisy, arrogance and self-interest that motivate hard-core Christian campaigners. It draws a clear distinction between faith and belief in God and the political agenda of the religious right, thus giving hope and encouragement to lesbians and gay men disillusioned with Christianity.

Publication date: 1992

Standpoint: 0 Not yet classified

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

Topic(s): Biblical studies, Ethics, and Spirituality

Especially suitable for: Academics

Nelson offers a thoroughly incarnational – and therefore thoroughly Christian – theology that takes body and sexuality seriously. He addresses body and sexuality as a locus of divine revelation and human growth that seeks to overcome dualism of soul and body, and of spirit and matter. In the process, he rethinks sexual sin and evaluates several issues such as the meanings of embodied life, reproductive choices, and AIDS. He concludes with two sermons thanking God for homosexuals (who have helped Nelson address his own homophobia) and exploring where Christ is embodied today.

Publication date: 1988

Standpoint: 1 Fully inclusive and affirming

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

Topic(s): Ethics, Healing/growing into wholeness, and Spirituality

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

In recent decades, men have begun to question seriously their traditionally held roles and values. The women’s movement, popular books, and male images on television and in films have all contributed to men’s uncertainty about themselves. There is a major shift taking place in the perception of sexuality. James Nelson asserts that men and women seek something the sexual revolution did not provide: an understanding of the true meaning of love. This, he claims, is the unfinished business of that revolution.

Publication date: 2004

Standpoint: 0 Not yet classified

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

Topic(s): Gender identity, Homosexuality in the Bible, Sex and sexuality in Ancient Rome, and Studies in Religion

Especially suitable for: Academics

Nissinen’s award-winning book surveys attitudes in the ancient world toward homoeroticism.

Focusing on the Bible and its cultural environment – Mesopotamia, Greece, Rome, Israel – Nissinen concisely and readably introduces the relevant sources and their historical contexts in a readable way. Homoeroticism is examined as a part of gender identity, i.e., the interplay of sexual orientation, gender identification, gender roles, and sexual practice.

In the patriarchal cultures of the biblical world, Nissinen shows, homoerotic practices were regarded as a role construction between the active and passive partners rather than as expressions of an orientation moderns call ‘homosexuality’. Nissinen shows how this applies to the limited acceptance of homoerotic relationships in Greek and Roman culture, as well as to Israel’s and the early church’s condemnation of any same-sex erotic activity. For readers interested in the ancient world or contemporary debates, Nissinen’s fascinating study shows why the ancient texts – both biblical and non-biblical – are not appropriate for use as sources of direct analogy or argument in today’s discussion.

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