Homosexuality as a Site of Anglican Identity and Dissent

This provides access to my PhD dissertation. It is available at the bottom of the page in a pdf format. It takes a few minutes to download. 
You are welcome to read it but it is copyright so please contact me at dentonhall@aol.com if you wish to quote from it. I also appreciate your comments.
Thank you, Caroline Addington Hall
 
 
What's it about?
 
I've looked at the way that the United States developed two different ways of approaching religion and ethics in the second half of the 20th century - 'liberal' and 'conservative'. Then I documented the way that the conservatives within the Episcopal Church tried to keep the church from moving to the 'liberal' side, and failed. People often think that the problems in the Episcopal Church (and the international Anglican Communion) began with Bishop Gene Robinson's ordination in 2003. Not so. They began as early as the Civil Rights movement, and by 1997 American conservatives were appealing to conservatives in other countries to help them. That year bishops from the provinces in the south part of the Anglican Communion met and one of the things they did was to issue a statement of the 'correct' Anglican position on human sexuality. On the basis of this some of them tried to prevent bishops of the Episcopal Church attending the 1998 Lambeth Conference. The first move towards the 'Anglican Covenant' now under discussion was part of this early debate.
 
Anyway, you can read all about that, and also how conservatives have tried to make the Anglican Communion something it isn't - an international church rather than an association of churches from across the world. In the process they created an international alliance which they have held together even though there are lots of internal differences. They have done this by creating symbolically a sense of belonging and a sense of beleagueredness and anxiety. Their construct of 'homosexuality' is very important in this, so I have looked at why homosexuality provides such a good boundary. That includes how it has been used in American culture and also in defining African nationality as well as why it's such a 'sticky' subject that almost anything can be symbolically stuck to it. That's in Chapter 9.
 
I suggest you read the introduction and then jump in anywhere that looks interesting. Most people will want to skip chapter 3.
 

 

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Jill Denton,
Sep 22, 2009, 3:39 PM