Original Research - Special Collection: Gender Justice and Health and Human Development

Navigating paradox: Towards a conceptual framework for activism at the intersection of religion and sexuality

Melanie Judge
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 76, No 3 | a5997 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v76i3.5997 | © 2020 Melanie Judge | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 18 March 2020 | Published: 14 September 2020

About the author(s)

Melanie Judge, Department of Public Law, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa


At the intersection of religion and sexuality, this article explores how lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) people navigate dynamics of inclusion and exclusion within faith-based settings. Situated in a postcolonial setting, and with a specific focus on South Africa, the article delineates the oppressive dynamics at work at this intersection, along with how these are resisted through contemporary forms of activism. Grounded in a feminist analysis of relevant literature and of the field of activism in question, and supplemented by interviews with key informants, the research offers a conceptual framework to advance transformative inclusion for LGBTIQ people within, and against, the dominant institutions, discourses and practices of faith.

Contribution: This article contributes to the field of scholarship that concerns activism on sexual and gender rights in faith-based settings. It straddles theory and practice, offering an epistemological grounding for political action that advances the rights of LGBTIQ people. In bringing practitioner insights into academic discourse, the article adds to the burgeoning academic enquiry in this area, and offers a conceptual approach for supporting existing and new initiatives against marginalisation, exclusion and violence at the hands of faith.


Queer; Sexuality; Religion; Rights; Gender


Total abstract views: 2322
Total article views: 2930


Crossref Citations

1. Through the Eye of a Needle: Understanding the Identities of LGBTQ+ Teachers Within Catholic Institutions in the Philippines
Juan Gabriel I. Jacinto, Janine Ysabelle C. Odulio, Sabine Dominique B. Sison, Ma. Elizabeth J. Macapagal
Journal of Homosexuality  first page: 1  year: 2024  
doi: 10.1080/00918369.2024.2329299