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): Academic writing, Spirituality, and Theology

Topic(s): Pastoral issues, Queer theology, and Spirituality

Especially suitable for: Academics

Building an identity as a queer person who is loved by God is the theme of this interdisciplinary work. A “hermeneutics of retrieval” offers a queer reading of key theological concepts. It also draws from psychology, spirituality, anthropology and brain studies. Psycho-spiritual practices are included.

Publication date: 2021

Standpoint: 1 Fully inclusive and affirming

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

Topic(s): Healing/growing into wholeness, Inclusive Christianity, Queer theology, and Spirituality

Especially suitable for: Clergy and Methodists

Fifty years after Stonewall, the experiences of LGBTQ+ Christians are – rightly – beginning to be received with interest by their churches. Queering Wesley, Queering the Church presents a prototype for thinking about Wesleyan holiness as an expansive openness to the love and grace of God in queer Christian lives rather than the limiting and restrictive legalism that is sometimes found in Wesleyan theology and praxis.

This inventive project consists of queer readings of ten John Wesley sermons. Reading these sermons from a queer perspective offers the church a fresh paradigm for theological innovation, while remaining in line with the tradition and legacy of Wesley that is so central and generative to Wesleyan churches. Arguing that a coherent line of thought can be drawn from Wesley’s conception of holiness to the queer, holy lives of LGBTQ+ Christians, Queering Wesley, Queering the Church playfully utilizes queer theory in a way that is fully compatible with Wesleyan teaching. This book aims to be a first step in seriously considering the theological voices of LGBTQ+ Christians in the Wesleyan tradition as a valuable asset to a vital church.

book cover

Just Love

Publication date: 2018

Standpoint: 1 Fully inclusive and affirming

Genre(s): Memoir/autobiography and Spirituality

Topic(s): Accepting one's sexuality, Coming out, Inclusive Christianity, and Same-sex relationships

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

Just Love is the autobiography of Jayne Ozanne, a prominent gay Anglican, who struggled for over 40 years to reconcile her faith with her sexuality before becoming one of the leading campaigners for LGBTI acceptance in the Church. Her journey includes powerful faith encounters with people across the world, from Argentina to Moscow and from the jungles of Burma to the White House. She gives an inside view of what it was like to be a founding member of the Church of England’s Archbishops’ Council and of working alongside international figures such as Tony Blair and Canon Andrew White, the Vicar of Baghdad. After many years of anguish seeking to be made straight, she finally decided she had no choice but to come out – and to face the ostracism that followed. Jayne’s story serves as a lifeline for LGBTI Christians struggling to reconcile their faith with their sexuality, and forces the Church to reflect on the impact of its current teaching.

Publication date: 2019

Standpoint: 1 Fully inclusive and affirming

Genre(s): Devotional writing

Topic(s): Biblical studies, Gender identity, Intersex people, and Transgender people

Especially suitable for: People of non-binary or fluid gender and Transgender people

This 7-day devotional from the author of OtherWise Christian: A Guidebook for Transgender Liberation provides a gentle introduction to concepts around gender identity for transgender, intersex, and OtherWise-gendered Christians as well as those who love us. This affirming guide explores questions of gender identity by exploring seven passages of scripture (from Genesis, Exodus, Matthew, Acts, and Galatians) while inviting the readers to reflect on their own experience. It also includes terms and definitions, recommended resources, and an appendix of modern-day Psalms.

Publication date: 2019

Standpoint: 1 Fully inclusive and affirming

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

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

Especially suitable for: Academics and Transgender people

OtherWise Christian: A Guidebook for Transgender Liberation is a love letter to transgender communities, a self-defence manual against Bible abuse and Christian trans-antagonism, and the beginning of a historical record of how far we have come. OtherWise Christian reviews 25 years of transgender-affirming biblical scholarship. Chris Paige argues that the Bible shows us story after story of OtherWise-gendered people being used by God to further the kingdom.

Publication date: 1997

Standpoint: 1 Fully inclusive and affirming

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

Topic(s): Discrimination against and hostility towards LGBT+ people, Healing/growing into wholeness, HIV and AIDS, Illness, Pastoral issues, and Spirituality

Especially suitable for: Clergy and Therapists and pastors

Exploring God, sex and death in the time of AIDS. The author writes: ‘this book came out of my five years steeped in the experience of HIV and AIDS with many friends. It is my attempt to put into words what that experience meant to me and how in particular it reshaped my spirituality as a gay Christian’.

Publication date: 2017

Standpoint: 1 Fully inclusive and affirming

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

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

No one likes to eat alone; to approach a table filled with people, only to be told that despite the open chairs there isn’t room for you. The rejection stings. It leaves a mark. Yet this is exactly what the church has been saying to far too many people for far too long: “You’re not welcome here. Find someplace else to sit.” How can we extend unconditional welcome and acceptance in a world increasingly marked by bigotry, fear, and exclusion? Pastor John Pavlovitz invites readers to join him on the journey to find – or build – a church that is big enough for everyone. He speaks clearly into the heart of the issues the Christian community has been earnestly wrestling with: LGBT inclusion, gender equality, racial tensions, and global concerns. A Bigger Table asks if organized Christianity can find a new way of faithfully continuing the work Jesus began two thousand years ago, where everyone gets a seat. Pavlovitz shares moving personal stories and his careful observations as a pastor to set the table for a new, more loving conversation on these and other important matters of faith. He invites us to build the bigger table Jesus imagined, practising radical hospitality, total authenticity, messy diversity, and agenda-free community.

Publication date: 1996

Standpoint: 2 Moderately inclusive

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

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

Especially suitable for: Academics, Activists, and Catholics

This book is unique in setting the question of homosexuality in its historical, legal, political, and religious contexts in North America. It is no longer possible in Catholic ethics to address sexual morality with a model of absolute moral norms, immune from the ambiguities and complexities social justice issues introduce. Peddicord looks at the personal and social sides of homosexuality, and fairly examines all sides of the Roman Catholic response.

Publication date: 1998

Standpoint: 1 Fully inclusive and affirming

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

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

Especially suitable for: Academics

Religion and sex, body and soul, sacred and profane: In Closet Devotions, Richard Rambuss traces the relays between these cultural formations by examining the issue of “sacred eroticism,” the literary or artistic expression of devotional feelings in erotic terms that has repeatedly occurred over the centuries. Rather than dismissing such expression as mere convention, Rambuss takes it seriously as a form of erotic discourse, one that gives voice to desires that, outside the sphere of sacred rapture, would otherwise be deemed taboo.

Through startling re-readings of works ranging from the devotional verse of the metaphysical poets (Donne, Herbert, Crashaw, and Traherne) to photographer Andres Serrano’s controversial “Piss Christ,” from Renaissance religious iconography to contemporary gay porn, Rambuss uncovers the highly charged erotic imagery that suffuses religious devotional art and literature. And he explores one of Christian culture’s most guarded (and literal) closets—the prayer closet itself, a privileged space where the vectors of same-sex desire can travel privately between the worshipper and his or her God.

Elegantly written and theoretically astute, Closet Devotions illuminates the ways in which sacred Christian devotion is homoeroticized, a phenomenon that until now has gone unexplored in current scholarship on religion, the body, and its passions. This book will attract readers across a wide array of disciplines, including gay and lesbian studies, literary theory and criticism, Renaissance studies, and religion.

Publication date: 2019

Standpoint: 2 Moderately inclusive

Genre(s): Memoir/autobiography and Spirituality

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

In modern Britain, what does it mean to be queer and religious? Unorthodox tells the stories of LGBT+ people of faith throughout the country. Bringing together artists, activists, religious leaders, community workers and writers, this collection explores how LGBT+ Christians, Muslims, Jews, Hindus and Sikhs navigate their faith, why they stay and what it means to believe – no matter the cost. These urgent, deeply personal reflections move beyond the idea that LGBT+ people must choose between being included or excluded, between believing and doubting, and between their faith and their sexuality.

Born out of a yearning to resist outdated binaries, Unorthodox is a surprising journey that will resonate with readers of all stripes, be they believers or not. Covering everything from hip-hop to habits, priesthood to pilgrimages, festivals to family, Unorthodox ignites a new conversation about religion, faith, sexuality and identity in Britain.

Publication date: 2017

Standpoint: 1 Fully inclusive and affirming

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

Topic(s): Spirituality

In Our Witness, Brandan Robertson has collected the powerful testimonies and experiences of LGBT+ Christians living in active and influential faith today. Some have faced rejection and marginalisation from parts of the Church; some have found fulfilment and blessing through reconciliation of their faith and their sexuality within the Church; and some bear witness to the great and fruitful revival that the Holy Spirit is bringing about through the lives of the LGBT+ Christian community.These are stories of faith, hope, love and life, and testimony to a wonderful new work of God in our world today.

Publication date: 2019

Standpoint: 1 Fully inclusive and affirming

Genre(s): Academic writing and Theology

Topic(s): Biblical studies, Inclusive Christianity, and Liberation Theology

Especially suitable for: Academics

One of the most fiercely debated topics in modern Christianity centres on the inclusion of sexual and gender minorities into the full life of the church. Dozens of scholars have stepped forward, seeking to make a compelling case for LGBT+ inclusion based on their contextualized reading of the ‘clobber texts’ in Scripture that supposedly refer to homosexuality. But these arguments alone fall short of providing a comprehensive framework for radical inclusion of LGBT+ people. In The Gospel of Inclusion, pastor and public theologian Brandan Robertson offers a compelling assessment of the biblical texts, cultural context, and modern social movements to suggest that the entire thrust of the Christian gospel calls the church towards the deconstruction of all oppressive systems and structures and towards the creation of a world that celebrates the full spectrum of human diversity as a reflection of God’s creative intention.

Publication date: 2008

Standpoint: 1 Fully inclusive and affirming

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

Topic(s): Accepting one's sexuality, Coming out, Discrimination against and hostility towards LGBT+ people, Ethics, Gender identity, Healing/growing into wholeness, Inclusive Christianity, Journeys towards acceptance, Pastoral issues, and Same-sex relationships

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

Gene Robinson is bishop of the tiny, rural Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire, but he’s at the centre of a storm of controversy raging in the Episcopal Church and throughout the worldwide Anglican Communion involving homosexuality, the priesthood, and the future of the Communion.

Robinson offers a look at the passions that have shaped his life and ministry, which include service to the poor and marginalized, and explores controversial issues, including homosexuality and the Church.

Publication date: 1999

Standpoint: 2 Moderately inclusive

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

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

Especially suitable for: Academics

Sexuality and the Christian Body addresses the challenges to traditional Christianity by gay and lesbian Christians and their critics within the church. This controversial book will be welcomed for the radical new insights it provides into Christian arguments about the body. Rogers starts by offering description and rigorous analysis of both conservative and liberal conceptions of the body within the church, exposing similarities between apparently opposing positions. Drawing on the work of Barth, Geertz, Aquinas and others, he then goes on to constructively reconnect doctrines like incarnation, election, and resurrection with race, gender and sexual orientation. In a final section he offers arguments for the fittingness in the Christian tradition of marriage-like homosexual relationships.

Publication date: 2001

Standpoint: 3 Neutral

Genre(s): Academic writing and Theology

Topic(s): Biblical studies, Church order and discipline, Homosexuality in the Bible, Liberation Theology, Marriage and relationships, Same-sex relationships, Scripture/tradition/reason, and Studies in Religion

Especially suitable for: Academics and Theological educators

This much-needed volume draws on a wide range of resources and brings together a collection of leading scholars in the field to examine debates about theology and sexuality. Material is drawn from a variety of ancient, medieval, modern and contemporary texts to provide readers with a broad perspective on the issues discussed. Theology and Sexuality takes on one of the most controversial contemporary theological issues, providing new insights into Christian arguments about the body.

Discussions cover homosexuality, the meaning and perception of the body in community, and the fittingness of the Christian tradition for marriage-like homosexual relationships. The book includes work from theologians and ethicists on both sides of the theology and sexuality debate, organizing selections under theological rubrics such as Christology, Trinity, anthropology, and church. An introductory essay provides a useful overview of the debate and explains the relevance of the selected readings.

Publication date: 1997

Standpoint: 1 Fully inclusive and affirming

Genre(s): Academic writing and Theology

Topic(s): Ethics, Gender identity, Politics, Queer theology, and Same-sex relationships

Especially suitable for: Academics, Activists, and Americans

Why has the Right’s anti-gay agenda been so successful in galvanizing a broad spectrum of US Christians to political action? Why have the issues of gay ordination and gay marriage come to dominate liberal Christian discussions of sexuality? What questions about sexual orientation, sexual ethics, and Christian community are not being asked as a result?

Sex and the Church is a groundbreaking book that brings lesbian and gay theory and experience to bear on questions of sexuality and its relationship to Christian life. Ethicist Kathy Rudy begins by showing how the Christian right’s campaign for “family values” has profoundly shaped American debates about gender and sexuality, and how mainline Protestant denominations have responded by focusing narrowly on questions of inclusion and exclusion, rights and privileges for lesbians and gay men. She then moves the debate onto a new level, drawing on queer theory and the lives of gay and lesbian Christians to answer new questions: Are gender and sexual orientation categories by which we should define ourselves and judge each other? Is the nuclear family the best site for Christian commitment? What is the purpose of sex, and what does it have to do with God? And what kind of intimate relationships best contribute to the formation of Christian community? Rudy concludes by proposing a new Christian sexual ethic that adapts the ancient notions of unitivity and procreativity to the church of today.

Publication date: 2018

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.

Publication date: 1984

Standpoint: 2 Moderately inclusive

Genre(s): Academic writing

Topic(s): Bible, Biblical studies, Translation issues, Sex and sexuality in Ancient Rome, and Homosexuality in the Bible

Especially suitable for: Academics, Theological educators, Those struggling to accept their sexuality or gender identity, and Those who are undecided about the homosexuality issue

Publication date: 2011

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.

Publication date: 1994

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.

book cover

119

Publication date: 2016

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.

Publication date: 2014

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.

Publication date: 1992

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.

Publication date: 2003

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.

Publication date: 1995

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?

1 4 5 6 7