Spiritual Identity Reconstruction among Australian LGBTQA+ Christians from Evangelical Traditions


  • Joel Hollier University of Sydney




evangelicalism, theology, queer, Australia, resilience, LGBTQA


This article explores the spiritual journeys of LGBTQA+ people seeking to reconstruct their faith as minorities within, or excluded from, evangelical traditions. Twenty-four queer individuals with histories in evangelical settings took part in in-depth interviews. Twenty-two participants had restructured traditional Christian doctrines to integrate their religious and queer selves. In the process of reconstructing religious or spiritual identities, participants’ understanding of God took on a more enigmatic form, larger than the boundaries that traditional orthodoxy had placed on the nature of the divine. It was found that LGBTQA+ individuals began to ‘take God out of the box’, showed a willingness to approach ‘heresy’, and attempted (with varied success) to separate religion from spirituality. This reimagining of God from the margins is theorised as an expression of spiritual resilience and a lay-led form of queering theology that can benefit the broader church.

Author Biography

  • Joel Hollier, University of Sydney

    Dr Joel Hollier is a social work and behavioural science academic with a background in theology. His current research and practice interests include youth development, holistic frameworks of integrated care, LGBTQIA+ diversity and inclusion, mental health, and religiously mediated trauma. Joel is eager to develop and promote social work approaches which emphasise integrated practice with the whole person.


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How to Cite

Hollier, J. (2023). Spiritual Identity Reconstruction among Australian LGBTQA+ Christians from Evangelical Traditions. Journal for the Academic Study of Religion, 36(1), 58–75. https://doi.org/10.1558/jasr.21044