Bisexuality and the Liturgy

July 12, 201911:00 am11:50 am
Typical of the bisexual experience, bisexuality is often erased in theology, even in books and articles constructing a queer theology. Similar to the “gender oblivion” described by Teresa Berger in the field of liturgical theology, we can also point to a sort of “orientation oblivion” whereas theology has thus far on the whole refused to acknowledge the specificity of the bisexual experience and how it relates to the liturgy, practicing a kind of white-washing of sexuality and denial of the ways that sexuality influences spirituality. A bisexual-specific liturgical theology is necessary because, as M. Shawn Copeland writes, “If my sister’s mark of sexuality must be obscured….we are not the flesh of Christ.”This presentation, focused on liturgical theology in particular, will be one part of what I hope will be a larger attempt at constructing a bi-specific theology based in an exploration of the ways that bisexual people’s experience can be put in conversation with our understanding of liturgy. This creative form of interpretation will be inspired by both queer theology and feminist theology and their contributions to the field of liturgical theology. Because bisexual women experience some of the highest rates of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, this paper will also pay special attention to the intersections of trauma theory and liturgical theology’s ability to support healing.

The scope of this presentation will be focused primarily around three elements of the bisexual experience; the breaking of binaries, drawing into visibility that which was previous invisible, and surviving trauma. Each element will draw upon other important works of liturgical theology and reinterpret major points through a bisexual lens in hopes of inspiring the theological imagination.

12:00 am Elle Dowd