The question of whether churches should be more welcoming to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people continues to be challenging for some. The topic is often considered to be controversial with as many consider question whether religion should adapt to society’s values. But, according to an important new book from Ekklesia, over the past century several prominent Christians, have played a major part in gaining support among churchgoers and the public for greater acceptance of same-sex partnerships.
The book, Sexuality, struggle and saintliness: same-sex-love and the church, by Savitri Hensman, is being published by Ekklesia in December 2015. It examines the shift in thinking on sexuality among Christians since the beginning of the twentieth century. This includes recognising the groundbreaking work of Christian theologians, church historians and a novelist. It delves beneath the surface of some of the conflicts that have arisen, offers reflections on the Bible and tradition and their relevance today. The book explores how churches can, and do, live with disagreement, suggesting a positive way forward in dealing with divisions over sexuality.
Rachel Mann, priest and poet, writes in her foreword:
"Reconciliation and remembrance are at the heart of Savitri Hensman’s new book. Sexuality, Struggle and Saintliness gathers together wisdom on matters of sexuality and church polity collected over an extensive career. At a time when debate over the Christian faith’s position on LGBT people and our relationships has profound charge and is extraordinarily divisive, Hensman’s approach is welcome."
The former Archbishop of Cape Town, Desmond Tutu notes:
"God's dream is that you and I and all of us will realise that we are family, that we are made for togetherness, for goodness, and for compassion. In God’s family, there are no outsiders, no enemies. Black and white, rich and poor, gay and straight – all belong."
Savitri Hensman, the book's author' comments:
“Many Christian thinkers have been reflecting seriously about sexualethics. Moving beyond the use of depersonalising language and mere assertions which fail to convince, while remaining true to what is richest in the Christian heritage, is a challenging task for the churches as a whole.”
Note to editors: advance promotional copies are available from the publisher from mid December: please email firstname.lastname@example.org