Queer Theologies and Theories (THE2028)

StaffProfessor Susannah Cornwall - Convenor
Credit Value30
ECTS Value15
NQF Level5
Duration of Module Term 1: 11 weeks;

Module aims

The main objective of the module is to provide you with specialised knowledge and critical understanding of queer Christian theologies and broader queer theories. An important aim of the seminars is to develop a thorough understanding of primary texts, some of them based in worshipping communities’ practices, and secondary texts, including commentaries on relevant literature. You will develop your skills in interpreting texts of various kinds, which may include e.g. visual art and film.

The module is research-led and will allow you to undertake your own project of applying queer theologies and theories to a practical task. It is also responsive to emerging queer practices within communities.

This module is expected to improve your future prospects via allowing you to develop your skills of evaluating and assessing theory, and negotiating complex arguments which are sometimes both politically and religiously freighted. You will be required to engage respectfully with others’ arguments and learn to disagree well.

The module contains various forms of assessment: summative (two essays, group presentation, participation) and formative (quizzes, tutorials), which tap into and develop distinct transferable skills: technical writing, identifying and reviewing the relevant literature; extracting the most relevant content and expressing it in brief form; working as part of a group, communicating complex data to an audience in an accessible form; and individual leadership skills.

ILO: Module-specific skills

  • 1. Demonstrate knowledge of some of the major developments, questions and figures in queer theologies and queer critical theory
  • 2. Apply your learning to assess the problems and potentials of queer theologies
  • 3. Think and write with critical insight about the work of interpreting texts in queer perspective

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

  • 4. Demonstrate an ability to analyse texts with nuance and to take account of their historical and political contexts
  • 5. Develop and present a coherent argument with appropriate use of evidence and awareness of a range of alternative views

ILO: Personal and key skills

  • 6. Undertake a short piece of research on a specified topic with limited guidance, showing that you can evaluate, organize and present complex material
  • 7. Demonstrate consistency, creativity and rigour in method and argument
  • 8. Exercise substantial autonomy in the management of your own learning
  • 9. Participate appropriately in a learning group and contribute fully to a group task

Syllabus plan

Whilst the content may vary from year to year, it is envisioned that it will cover some or all of the following topics:

  • Introduction to queer theologies and queer critical theory
  • Queer Christologies
  • Queer theology, ethnicity and race
  • Constructive queer theologies
  • Queer Christian practice
  • Queer biblical interpretation
  • Tensions between queer theologies and other critical approaches

You will typically engage with a range of resources which may include visual art, film, and written texts.

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching 2211 x 2 hour lectures or equivalent
Scheduled Learning and Teaching 1111 x 1 hour seminars or equivalent
Guided Independent Study30Preparation for group work presentation
Guided Independent Study237Reading and preparation for seminars and essays

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Quizzes (ELE)Two quizzes of 10 questions each1-9In-quiz feedback and class discussion
Tutorial15-minute tutorial with lecturer1-9Oral feedback from tutor; reflection on self-reflexive feedback

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Essay 1402500 words1-9Written feedback and tutorial
Essay 2402500 words1-9Written feedback
Group presentation105 minutes or equivalent per student1-9Written and oral feedback
Participation10Continuous assessment based on threshold tasks1-3, 8-9Written and oral feedback

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Essay 1Essay1-9Referral/Deferral period
Essay 2Essay1-9Referral/Deferral period
Group presentationScript (and slides where relevant) as for individual presentation – 500 words 1-9Referral/Deferral period
ParticipationAssessment of engagement with threshold tasks as appropriate1-3, 8-9Referral/Deferral period

Re-assessment notes

Deferral – if you miss an assessment for certificated reasons judged acceptable by the Mitigation Committee, you will normally be either deferred in the assessment or an extension may be granted. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of deferral will not be capped and will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment.

Referral – if you have failed the module overall (i.e. a final overall module mark of less than 40%) you will be required to submit a further assessment as necessary. If you are successful on referral, your overall module mark will be capped at 40%.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

  • Cheng, Patrick S. (2011), Radical Love: An Introduction to Queer Theology , New York, NY: Seabury Books
  • Cornwall, Susannah (2011), Controversies in Queer Theology , London: SCM Press
  • Lightsey, Pamela (2015), Our Lives Matter: A Womanist Queer Theology , Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock
  • Loughlin, Gerard (ed.) (2007), Queer Theology: Rethinking the Western Body , Oxford: Blackwell
  • Tonstad, Linn Marie (2018), Queer Theology: Beyond Apologetics, Eugene, OR: Cascade

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Key words search

Queer, theology, Christian, queer theology, queer theory