Religion and the Politics of Spirituality/Sexuality

Reflections on Researching British Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Christians and Muslims


  • Andrew K.T. Yip Nottingham Trent University



gay spirituality, homophobic religion


Drawing upon my research on British LGB Christians and Muslims, and theoretical literature on ?identity?, ?identity politics?, and ?sexual citizenship?, I begin by discussing some advantages and disadvantages of merging the personal and the professional in research. I then argue that in order to understand why some LGB people stay in seemingly homophobic institutional religion, we need to understand the connection between spirituality and sexuality that not only offers ontological security, but also underpins the politics of spirituality/sexuality. This politics is personally and socially transformative. The merger of the counter religious discourse, that this politics underpins, with the secular discourse of human rights and sexual citizenship offers LGB believers cause for optimism. Nonetheless, I also contest the ideological and cultural specificity of contemporary religious and secular LGB identity politics. Highlighting the political, religious, social-cultural, and ethnic issues with which LGB Muslims need to engage, I argue for the broadening of current discourse of identity in general, and LGB identity in particular.


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Author Biography

Andrew K.T. Yip, Nottingham Trent University

Andrew Yip is Reader in Sociology at Nottingham Trent University (UK). He has published widely, among others, in the area of lesbian, gay, and bisexual Christian and Muslim identities and relationships. He is the author of Gay Male Christian Couples: Life Stories(Praeger, 1997), and co-author of Lesbian and Gay Lives Over 50 (York House Publishing, 2003). School of Social Sciences Nottingham Trent University Burton Street, Nottingham NG1 4BU UK


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How to Cite

K.T. Yip, A. (2005). Religion and the Politics of Spirituality/Sexuality: Reflections on Researching British Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Christians and Muslims . Fieldwork in Religion, 1(3), 271–289.