Centre for Religion and Public Life Research Seminar with Prof Orit Avishai: "Queering Orthodoxy: Everyday Theologies of Life, God, and Sex"

Research seminar hosted by the Centre for Religion and Public Life. Prof Orit Avishai (Fordham University), will be speaking about their work on Queering Orthodoxy.

The seminar will take place online via Teams. Please contact Dr Hollie Gowan (h.g.gowan@leeds.ac.uk) for the meeting link.

Queering Orthodoxy: Everyday Theologies of Life, God, and Sex

In the popular imagination, “religion” often operates as a foil to progressive LGBTQ agendas but this depiction misses the complex ways in which religion manifests itself in the lives of LGBTQ+ persons of faith. This talk considers how Orthodox Jewish same-sex attracted persons’ negotiations with a religious tradition that has historically denied their existence and vilified them produces a new—potentially queer—vision of Orthodoxy. However, while this new vision emanates from nonconforming bodies demanding that communities make space for them, the dynamic sheds light on much broader processes of religious change vis-à-vis community organization and authority structures.

Orit Avishai is a Professor of Sociology and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Forhdam University, a Jesuit University in New York City. An ethnographer, her research interests include gender, religion, sexuality, feminist theory, and Jewish Studies. Her book Queering Orthodoxy: The Battle for Judaism’s (Straight) Soul in Israel is forthcoming from NYU Press.