LUCAS member Adriaan van Klinken, Professor of Religion and African Studies at the University of Leeds, recently published a new book, co-authored with Johanna Stiebert, Sebyala Brian and Fredrick Hudson. The book is titled Sacred Queer Stories: Ugandan LGBTQ+ Refugee Lives and the Bible and was published in the Religion in Transforming Africa series, by James Currey Publishers. See more information about the book below, and please read the Q&A with Adriaan about this book, published in the Leeds African Studies Bulletin.
Presenting the deeply moving personal life stories of Ugandan LGBTQ+ refugees in Nairobi, Kenya alongside an analysis of the process in which they creatively engaged with two Bible stories – Daniel in the Lions’ Den (Old Testament) and Jesus and the Woman Caught in Adultery (New Testament) – Sacred Queer Stories explores how readings of biblical stories can reveal their experiences of struggle, their hopes for the future, and their faith in God and humanity. Arguing that the telling of life-stories of marginalised people, such as of Ugandan LGBTQ+ refugees, affirms embodied existence and agency, is socially and politically empowering, and enables human solidarity, the authors also show how the Bible as an authoritative religious text and popular cultural archive in Africa is often used against LGBTQ+ people but can also be reclaimed as a site of meaning, healing, and empowerment. The result of a collaborative project between UK-based academics and a Nairobi-based organisation of Ugandan LGBTQ+ refugees, the book provides a valuable insight into the narrative politics and theologies of LGBTQ+ life-storytelling. A key text for those in African Humanities, Queer Studies, Religious Studies, and Refugee Studies, among others, the book expresses an innovative methodology of inter-reading queer life-stories and biblical stories.