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.

Standpoint: 2 Moderately inclusive

Genre(s): Memoir/autobiography

Topic(s): Gender identity, Journeys towards acceptance, and Transgender people

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

What do you do if you are an evangelical Christian, politically conservative and transgender? Evangelical Christians are often attacked by the Left. People who are transgender are often attacked by the Right. But what happens to the people who are scorned by both sides? Meet Laurie Suzanne Scott. She is both an evangelical Christian and transgender. In God Doesn’t Make Mistakes Laurie tells her story of growing up playing a role as unnatural to her as the body she was born with. She was a living, breathing dichotomy… and there was no one who could understand. She had no choice but to keep up the pretence and keep it a secret. But she knew there was no keeping it from God. Raised with a doctrine she believed condemned her, she decided the only way out of her constant misery was to end her life.

It was at that desperate crossroad she heard the voice of God simply say, “You’re okay.” Since that day, God has led her on a path to heal her deep wounds of rejection by family as well as other Christians, and make peace with the way she was created. “I thought God would be the first to reject me. But, in fact, He was the first to accept me.”

Now Laurie reaches out to Christians who are transgender, who are still struggling to believe God loves them for who they are … just as they are. Equally important are her efforts to help the Church see their Christian brothers and sisters who are transgender as simply, their Christian brothers and sisters. Nothing more, and nothing less. And finally, she shares the much needed message that God doesn’t make mistakes, and it is possible to be a conservative, a Christian, and transgender.

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The Gay Gospels

by Keith Sharpe

Standpoint: 1 Fully inclusive and affirming

Genre(s): Advice – spiritual and practical and Theology

Topic(s): Accepting one's sexuality, Biblical studies, and Homosexuality in the Bible

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

This book refutes the idea that the Bible is homophobic and makes visible the gay lives and validated homoerotic experience to be found in it.

The Gay Gospels constitutes a forthright challenge to the institutionalised homophobia of mainstream Christian churches. It reveals the bigotry behind the church’s refusal to affirm and celebrate gay lives, identities and relationships. In so doing it gives LGBT people a powerful tool for asserting the right to full inclusion and equal treatment in all Christian congregations.

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Homosexuality in the Church

by Jeffrey S Siker

Standpoint: 3 Neutral

Genre(s): Academic writing and Theology

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

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

Respected specialists on Scripture, tradition, reason, biology, ethics, and gendered experience discuss one of the most divisive debates in the church: the place of homosexuals in the community of faith. The varied treatment of the issues and the contrasting insights of the essays make this a valuable resource for reflection individually or in groups, though one should bear in mind the advances that have been made in all these fields since the book was published in 1994.

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119

by Jaime Sommers

Standpoint: 1 Fully inclusive and affirming

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

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

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

119: the number of words dedicated to bisexuality in the Church of England statement Issues in Human Sexuality. The words state that bisexuality inevitably leads to unfaithfulness, and prescribe celibacy, abstinence, heterosexual marriage or counselling ‘to achieve inner healing’.

As a bisexual Christian woman, happily and faithfully married to a man, a mother of three children and with a blossoming ministry as a preacher, Jaime Sommers had always felt as if her true self did not really exist in the eyes of the Church. She could find neither theology nor pastoral support for a person who felt the need for physical closeness with both sexes in order to feel well or ‘whole’.

Following a brief, isolated incident in which Jaime kissed another woman, the full extent of the Church’s inability to acknowledge or understand her identity became apparent. The disciplinary process to which she was subjected led to her suffering depression and anxiety and feelings of isolation. Jaime’s powerful and emotive story reveals the failure of the Church – and of large parts of wider culture and society – to recognise and support the experience and needs of those who identify as the silent ‘B’ in LGBT.

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Covenant and Calling

by Robert Song

Standpoint: 1 Fully inclusive and affirming

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

Topic(s): Biblical studies, Marriage and relationships, and Same-sex relationships

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

No other issue in recent times has proved as potentially divisive for the churches as that of same-sex relationships. Robert Song’s book advances a theological account of marriage and sexuality which appeals to the central biblical theme of the fulfilment of creation in Christ and is also open to the possibility of same-sex relationships. Rejecting treatments of the Bible which concentrate on a small number of well-rehearsed texts on same-sex relationships to the exclusion of the Bible’s overarching narrative, this book provides a fresh interpretation of the Christian tradition and defends a vision of the church which embraces a plurality of callings, to marriage, celibacy, and covenant partnership.

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Daring to Speak Love’s Name

by Elizabeth Stuart

Standpoint: 1 Fully inclusive and affirming

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

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

Especially suitable for: Clergy and Therapists and pastors

Both a handbook for gay and lesbian Christians looking for words and liturgies to express their own experience of life – from coming out to dealing with AIDS – this book is also offered to the clergy wishing to minister more fully to the needs of their congregation. It is a challenging book which combines practical help with inspirational psalms and prayers.

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Gay and Lesbian Theologies

by Elizabeth Stuart

Standpoint: 1 Fully inclusive and affirming

Genre(s): Academic writing and Theology

Topic(s): Biblical studies, Ethics, Gender identity, Inclusive Christianity, Liberation Theology, and Queer theology

Especially suitable for: Academics

Gay and lesbian theology has been one of the most distinctive voices to have emerged in Christian theology since 1970. It has placed lesbian and gay experience at the heart of the theological process. Elizabeth Stuart, one of the most prominent theologians in this field, presents a critical survey of gay and lesbian theology. She charts the development of gay and lesbian theology from an early apologetic phase, to a more confident liberationist outlook which owed much to Latin American liberation theology and feminist theology, and finally to its current wrestling with queer theory.

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Just Good Friends

by Elizabeth Stuart

Standpoint: 1 Fully inclusive and affirming

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

Topic(s): Accepting one's sexuality, Biblical studies, Ethics, Liberation Theology, Marriage and relationships, Same-sex relationships, and Spirituality

Especially suitable for: Academics

A great deal has been written about homosexuality and Christianity. Although generally there is a conscious move towards understanding and incorporating the experiences of gay men and women, the Church’s response has been to treat homosexuality as a problem within sexual ethics. However, a growing number of gay and lesbian Christians, influenced by liberation movements within and outside the Church, are claiming a place in the Church and finding a voice in theological and ecclesiastical discourse. Elizabeth Stuart suggests that gay people may have some important insights to contribute to theological reflection about sexuality, marriage and celibacy – most notably in the understanding of friendship to include our most intimate and committed relationships. This is not a book about whether Christians should accept or affirm gay people and their relationships. Dr Stuart’s concern here is to ask: supposing lesbian and gay people were equal in the sight of God, what then might heterosexual people learn from them? What new and creative ways of relating might emerge to the benefit of the whole community?

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People of Passion

by Elizabeth Stuart, Adrian Thatcher

Standpoint: 2 Moderately inclusive

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

Topic(s): Biblical studies, Church order and discipline, Discrimination against and hostility towards LGBT+ people, Inclusive Christianity, Scripture/tradition/reason, and Studies in Religion

Especially suitable for: Academics, Activists, Clergy, and Therapists and pastors

People of Passion deals with what Christians are saying now [1997], and have said in the past, about sex. It provides a basic theological resource for those who want to explore issues to do with sex and sexuality from a Christian point of view but feel they need to acquire a broader, more informal perspective on the historical background and contemporary developments. First, it enables clergy, ministers and priests to deal with pastoral situations related to sexuality. Second, with Christianity and sexuality appearing regularly on the curriculum in universities, colleges, seminaries and schools throughout the world, it provides an indispensable, easy-to-read guidebook mapping out the terrain and sketching the contours of current controversies. Third, it is an authoritative source for professional people outside the churches who need to keep in touch with Christian teaching about sex and sexuality.

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Religion is a Queer Thing

by Elizabeth Stuart

Standpoint: 1 Fully inclusive and affirming

Genre(s): Academic writing, Liturgy/worship, Spirituality, Studies in Religion, and Theology

Topic(s): Accepting one's sexuality, Biblical studies, Gender identity, Journeys towards acceptance, Queer theology, Same-sex relationships, Spirituality, Studies in Religion, and Transgender people

Since the 1980s there has been a sea-change amongst lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered Christians. Many are no longer content to beg a place at the pre-existing table of the institutional Churches. Rather they have found a new confidence in their ability to define their own experience and think theologically about it. Queer theology has emerged as a distinctive, radical and explosive theological tradition of which all in the churches will eventually have to take notice. This theology exposes the heterosexist thought-patterns and assumptions that underlie many Christian doctrines and practices and rescues parts of the tradition helpful to queer Christians which may have been lost along the way. Most importantly of all, it fashions Christian theologies untainted by homophobia and heterosexism.

This book makes queer theology available and accessible to the general reader and encourages its readers to become part of the ongoing development of this theology. It is aimed primarily at queer people who are either new to Christianity or those who are interested in reflecting upon their Christian faith from a queer perspective. It is a study guide which can be used by groups and by individuals and contains exercises and liturgies as well as explanations of queer theology. Subjects covered include the Bible, salvation, Christ, body theology, God, the church, death and ethics, Christian LGBT support groups, churches and individuals.

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Coming Out as Parents

by David K Switzer

Standpoint: 1 Fully inclusive and affirming

Genre(s): Advice – spiritual and practical and Theology

Topic(s): Accepting one's sexuality, Biblical studies, Coming out, Journeys towards acceptance, and Parents of LGBT+ children

Especially suitable for: Parents of LGBT+ children, Those who are undecided about the homosexuality issue, and Young people

When gay men and lesbians decide to tell their parents of their sexuality, they have probably already made many trips to the library and (one hopes) found many up-to-date resources on gay sexuality, history, and health. But too often parents find themselves with a severe information deficiency on receiving the news. This book addresses the topic of homosexuality specifically for parents of gay children. The authors enthusiastically endorse P-FLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) as central to their counselling, effectively re-create typical meeting discussions that address the outrage, fears, and emotional distress many parents feel when a child comes out.

David K. Switzer is Professor Emeritus of Pastoral Theology at Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University, in Dallas, Texas.

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Coming Out through Fire

by Leanne McCall Tigert

Standpoint: 1 Fully inclusive and affirming

Genre(s): Advice – spiritual and practical, Spirituality, and Theology

Topic(s): 'Ex-gay' movement/ministries, Accepting one's sexuality, Coming out, Discrimination against and hostility towards LGBT+ people, Healing/growing into wholeness, Journeys towards acceptance, and Pastoral issues

Especially suitable for: People of non-binary or fluid gender, Therapists and pastors, and Those struggling to accept their sexuality or gender identity

Coming Out through Fire is for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender persons who seek to move through the trauma of homophobia with the passion and power of transformation. It is also for pastors, therapists, and other helping professionals who seek to confront prejudice and fear and to further the process of healing and recovery in the church and wider community.

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Coming Out While Staying in

by Leanne McCall Tigert

Standpoint: 1 Fully inclusive and affirming

Genre(s): Memoir/autobiography and Spirituality

Topic(s): Accepting one's sexuality, Coming out, Discrimination against and hostility towards LGBT+ people, Healing/growing into wholeness, Journeys towards acceptance, Liberation Theology, Pastoral issues, Spirituality, and Studies in Religion

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

Tigert takes seriously the homophobia evident within the church today, and provides a voice of hope for those who experience oppression as gay, lesbian, and bisexual Christians. Through candid stories of her own and others’ struggles with the doctrines of mainline denominations and their stance on the issue of sexuality, the author hopes to open the door to change, healing, and liberation for homosexuals and bisexuals, as well as heterosexuals. Study questions are provided to stimulate individual reflection and group discussion.

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Kenyan, Christian, Queer

by Adriaan van Klinken

Standpoint: 1 Fully inclusive and affirming

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

Topic(s): African Christianity, Arts and crafts, LGBT+ activism, and Queer theology

Especially suitable for: Academics and Activists

Kenyan, Christian, Queer presents four case studies of grassroots LGBT activism through artistic expression. They show how queer Kenyans are using Christian ideas, texts, symbols and practices to transform black African identities and Christian faith. This book was a major focus of the American Academy of Religion’s 2019 annual meeting. The author is associate professor of Religion and African Studies at the University of Leeds.

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Strangers and Friends

by Michael Vasey

Standpoint: 2 Moderately inclusive

Genre(s): Academic writing and Theology

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

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

An exploration of the Church’s teaching on homosexuality. Few subjects have divided the Church so sharply, and in this study Michael Vasey considers what the Bible says on the subjects of sexuality, social order, the doctrine of grace, gay identity and how the Church can move forward on this issue.

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God and the Gay Christian

by Matthew Vines

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, Inclusive Christianity, Marriage and relationships, Pastoral issues, Same-sex relationships, and Scripture/tradition/reason

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

As a young Christian man, Matthew Vines harboured the same basic hopes of most young people: to someday share his life with someone, to build a family of his own, to give and receive love. But when he realized he was gay, those hopes were called into question. The Bible, he’d been taught, condemned gay relationships. Feeling the tension between his understanding of the Bible and the reality of his same-sex orientation, Vines devoted years of intensive research into what the Bible says about homosexuality.

Unique in its affirmation of both an orthodox faith and sexual diversity, God and the Gay Christian is likely to spark heated debate, sincere soul-search­ing, even widespread cultural change. Not only is it a compelling interpretation of key biblical texts about same-sex relations, it is also the story of a young man navigating relationships with his family, his hometown church, and the Christian church at large as he expresses what it means to be a faithful gay Christian.

Standpoint: 0 Not yet classified

Genre(s): Polemic and Theology

Topic(s): Biblical studies and Fundamentalism

Especially suitable for: Evangelicals

NB This book is not specifically about LGBT+ issues, but we have made an exception and included it here because it is so helpful to LGBT+ people from a conservative evangelical/fundamentalist background. It helps them to see that a more open and scholarly approach to Scripture is more biblical, not less.

Do you know what the Bible says about marriage, life after death or the Second Coming of Christ? Do you understand what the Bible teaches about atonement and forgiveness? What do the Gospels tell us about the resurrection of Jesus? Where does the Bible really stand on issues of sexual morality, abortion and same-sex relationships?

Keith Ward, formerly Regius Professor of Divinity at the University of Oxford, is well placed to explore what the Bible really says, and he comes to some surprising and challenging conclusions. In many cases he demonstrates that the Bible teaches the exact opposite of what fundamentalists say it does.

In this fascinating and engaging book, he shows how to let the Bible speak and be heard, free from the distortions and bias caused by reading Scripture through the dogmatic lens of fundamentalism. As Professor Ward underlines the importance of allowing the Bible to be its own interpreter, he encourages us to read its life-changing ancient texts with fresh vision and sharp insight.

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More Than Welcome

by Maurine C Waun

Standpoint: 1 Fully inclusive and affirming

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

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: Those struggling to accept their sexuality or gender identity and Those who are undecided about the homosexuality issue

“Mainline churches,” says Waun, “are so preoccupied with debating the sinfulness of homosexuality that they are missing opportunities to pastor persons who have been turned off by and excluded from the church.”

More Than Welcome tells the story of a pastor who moved from hostile to an affirming position towards LGBT people through meeting and gradually forming friendships with people who are gay. A good book for congregations seeking to become more welcoming to LGBT people.

Standpoint: 0 Not yet classified

Genre(s): Academic writing and History

Topic(s): Studies in Religion

Especially suitable for: Academics

Merry Wiesner-Hanks assesses the role of personal faith and the church itself in the control and expression of all aspects of sexuality. The book ranges over developments within Europe and beyond to the European colonies which were establishing themselves around the world.

Christian missionaries, and Christian rituals and structures, accompanied all of the imperial powers, and the control of the sexuality of both indigenous peoples and colonists was an essential part of policy. The book is introduced with an account of the central concepts in the study of sexuality in Christianity, such as shame, sin, the body, marriage and gender.

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Coming Out in Christianity

by Melissa M Wilcox

Standpoint: 1 Fully inclusive and affirming

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

Topic(s): Accepting one's sexuality, Coming out, Discrimination against and hostility towards LGBT+ people, Gender identity, Inclusive Christianity, Journeys towards acceptance, Pastoral issues, and Studies in Religion

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

This is not a book about homosexuality. It is not a book about religion, or spirituality, or churches. It is a book about people.

For Christianity, the issue of ‘homosexuality’ threatens to create a yawning chasm within several mainline denominations. But there is a problem with these debates: each takes place primarily over the heads of the actual people whose lives are affected.

In many religious groups the situation is worse: the debate is not even about a ‘them’ but about a behaviour, like drug abuse or swearing, that ‘we’ do not consider intrinsic to anyone’s identity. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people angrily refute such assumptions, but their protests fall on deaf ears.

For LGBT Christians, the challenge to their religious and sexual identities is acute. Coming Out in Christianity examines this identity conflict and the strategies employed to help resolve it among current and former members of two Metropolitan Community Churches in California – churches that predominantly serve LGBT Christians.

Based on original research, including over seventy in-depth interviews, the book explores the life histories, current beliefs, cultural settings, and community influences, in an attempt to understand the variety of factors that affect the constructions on an integrated LGBT Christian identity.

In the course of this analysis, Melissa M. Wilcox links her findings to recent studies of religious individualism, identity construction, and ritual symbolism to show that the lives of religious LGBT people provide powerful case studies that can deepen our understanding of both religion and identity.

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More Perfect Union

by Alan Wilson

Standpoint: 1 Fully inclusive and affirming

Genre(s): Theology

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

Especially suitable for: Anglicans and Church of England

The Rt Revd Dr Alan Wilson is the Bishop of Buckingham, an area bishop in the Diocese of Oxford. In this clearly-written book he analyses the arguments for and against the marriage of same-gender couples in the Church and concludes unequivocally that the Church of England should accept and celebrate equal marriage.

Standpoint: 2 Moderately inclusive

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

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

Ideal for individual or group use, this unique resource presents short pieces from some of the USA’s most pre-eminent church leaders in 1999 – women and men, Protestant and Catholic, mainline and evangelical – who address fundamental moral imperatives about homosexuality. Through personal testimony, factual clarification, and moral suasion, they invite the reader to open his or her heart to the Spirit, to Gospel values, and to full acceptance of gay and lesbian persons in the “family of God.”

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Gay Male Christian Couples

by Andrew K T Yip

Standpoint: 1 Fully inclusive and affirming

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

Especially suitable for: Academics and Gay men

Documents the lived experiences of gay male Christian couples through extensive interview data to advance the understanding of same-sex partnerships and the debate on Christianity and homosexuality.

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