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: 1997

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.

Publication date: 1996

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.

Publication date: 2017

Standpoint: 2 Moderately inclusive

Genre(s): Academic writing and Theology

Topic(s): Biblical studies, Gender identity, and Sexuality

Especially suitable for: Academics and Theological educators

The Oxford Handbook of Theology, Sexuality, and Gender presents an unrivalled overview of the theological study of sexuality and gender. Not merely contentious and pervasive topics, sexuality and gender have escalated in importance within theology. Theologians increasingly agree that even the very doctrine of God cannot be contemplated without a prior grappling with each.

Featuring 41 newly-commissioned essays, written by the foremost scholars in the discipline, this authoritative collection presents and develops the latest thinking in the area. Divided into eight thematic sections, the Handbook explores key methodological approaches, concepts, and issues, as well as current controversies within various denominations. Selected essays draw on reason as a distinct source of theology, discussing evolutionary biology and behavioural genetics, psychology, anthropological research, philosophical research, and queer theory. It examines the history of in theologies of sexuality and gender, with close analysis of the Bible and the Christian tradition. The final section considers theology in relation to different expressions of sexual identities.

Publication date: 2009

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.

Publication date: 1996

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.

Publication date: 2019

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.

Publication date: 2021

Standpoint: 1 Fully inclusive and affirming

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

Topic(s): African Christianity and Queer theology

Especially suitable for: Academics and Theological educators

The authors show not only that African Christian traditions harbour strong potential for countering conservative anti-LGBTI+ dynamics; but also that this potential has already begun to be realised by various thinkers, activists and movements across the continent. Their ten case studies document how leading African writers are reimagining Christian thought; how several Christian-inspired groups are transforming religious practice; and how African cultural production creatively appropriates Christian beliefs and symbols. In short, the book explores Christianity as a major resource for a liberating imagination and politics of sexuality and social justice in Africa today.

Publication date: 2021

Standpoint: 1 Fully inclusive and affirming

Genre(s): Academic writing and Studies in Religion

Topic(s): African Christianity, Healing/growing into wholeness, Liberation Theology, and Studies in Religion

Especially suitable for: Academics

Presenting the deeply moving personal life stories of Ugandan LGBTQ+ refugees in Nairobi, Kenya, alongside an analysis of the process in which they creatively engaged with two Bible stories – ‘Daniel in the Lions’ Den’ and ‘Jesus and the Woman Caught in Adultery’ – Sacred Queer Stories explores how readings of biblical stories can reveal their experiences of struggle, their hopes for the future, and their faith in God and humanity. Arguing that the telling of life-stories of marginalised people, such as of Ugandan LGBTQ+ refugees, affirms embodied existence and agency, is socially and politically empowering, and enables human solidarity, the authors also show how the Bible as an authoritative religious text and popular cultural archive in Africa is often used against LGBTQ+ people but can also be reclaimed as a site of meaning, healing, and empowerment.

Publication date: 1995

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.

Publication date: 2014

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.

Publication date: 2004

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.

Publication date: 1999

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.

Publication date: 2005

Standpoint: 2 Moderately inclusive

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

Topic(s): Ethics, Same-sex relationships, and Scripture/tradition/reason

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

In this thoughtful and provocative book, Stephen White begins with the premise that the church is attempting to do sexual ethics without first of all examining the theological underpinning of our ideas of right and wrong as seen in the nature of God. From this consideration he proposes guiding qualities of creativity and love as the basis for a new framework of Christian sexual ethics which would have major implications for the ongoing debate on homosexuality in particular, but also for the church’s own self-understanding and ecclesiological identity.

Publication date: 2010

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.

Publication date: 2003

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.

Publication date: 2014

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.

Publication date: 1999

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.”

Publication date: 1997

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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