Recommended Books List – dev

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.

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: 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.

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Same-sex Unions

by Paul Victor Marshall

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

by Colby Martin

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.

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Sex and the Single Savior

by Dale B Martin

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.

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Building a Bridge

by James Martin

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

by Urs Mattmann

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.

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A Special Illumination

by Rollan McCleary

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.

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A New Kind of Christianity

by Brian D McLaren

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.

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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.

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The Grace of Coming Home

by Melanie Morrison

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.

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Moral Panic

by Theresa Murray, Michael McClure

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.

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Body Theology

by James B Nelson

Standpoint: 0 Not yet classified

Genre(s): Academic writing, 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.

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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God’s Beloved Queer

by Rolf R Nolasco

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.

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Just Love

by Jayne Ozanne

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.

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.

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OtherWise Christian

by Chris R Paige

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.

Singing for Our Lives

by Michael Séan Paterson

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’.

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A Bigger Table

by John Pavlovitz

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.

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Gay and Lesbian Rights

by Richard Peddicord

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.

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Closet Devotions

by Richard Rambuss

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.

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Unorthodox

by Sean Richardson

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.

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Our Witness

by Brandan J Robertson

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.

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The Gospel of Inclusion

by Brandan J Robertson

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.

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In the Eye of the Storm

by Gene Robinson

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.

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