Gud, kirkeliv og homoseksualitet

  • Tone Hellesund


This essay presents two recent dissertations concerning Christian churches and their debates on homosexuality. While American sociologist Dawne Moon studies two Methodist congregations and their internal debates and disputes on these issues. Swedish ethnologist Susanne Lindström analyses both the discourses on homosexuality in the official documents from the Church of Sweden and interviews non-heterosexuals working as clergy in this church. This essay presents the main arguments of both books, but dwells particularly with Lindströms analysis. Built on her opposition at Lindströms doctoral defense, the author argues that this dissertation also contains some severe theoretical problems. While claiming to build on queer theory, the analysis seems to rest on a more identity-based understanding of homosexuality. This conflict is never addressed, and the theoretical framework chosen seems to be inadequate for the analysis Lindström wants to perform. While failing to introduce alternative perspectives, the analysis is left without being pushed to its full potential. The essay uses Dawne Moon to prob- lematise identity-politics as both a political and theoretical strategy, but it also suggests places where Lindström could have looked for frameworks which maybe could have worked more constructively in her work. Finally the question of whether researchers should confirm of challenge the heteronormative self-conception of the church of Sweden is raised.