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Radical Love: An Introduction to Queer Theology
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Radical Love: An Introduction to Queer Theology

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  296 ratings  ·  41 reviews
Contextual theologies have developed from a number of perspectives including feminist theology, Black theology, womanist theology, Latin American liberation theology, and Asian American theology and a wide variety of academic and general introductions exist to examine each one.

However, Radical Love is the first introductory textbook on the subject of queer theology.

Queer t
Paperback, 161 pages
Published March 1st 2011 by Seabury Books
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Steven Denton
Nov 02, 2011 rated it it was ok
I appreciate what this book does for the LGBT community (especially those who are religious) in extending the ideas of liberation theology to a people group that is commonly shunned or condemned by modern day religion. The calling for a dissolution of boundaries, unlimited love, and acceptance is something with which I am fully on board. I also recognize that this book is a collection of views, and cites mannny opinions, not just Cheng's.

That being said, the two star rating stems from, what I fe
As a teaching text, this is a home run. I cannot imagine a better introduction to queer theology for any audience. The language is simple and accessible without simplifying, never getting in the way of the genuinely challenging ideas Cheng constantly raises up from the community and its advocates. Yet the footnotes and bibliography are comprehensive: A doctoral student doing a field exam in queer theology could take this up as their syllabus, unchanged. Scholars and churches have both needed thi ...more
Jordan Varey
Dec 02, 2015 rated it it was ok
In todays political and social climate it can feel like it is not okay to not like books of this nature. I think a large part of the reason is because of the authors's motive for writing. Cheng writes out of his own experience as a victim of social hatred and injustice. A few times in these pages he alludes to being bullied, rejected, judged, etc. often at the hands of the religious "right".

So I want to be respectful of Cheng and others that have shared his experience. I do not know what it fee
Brooke Scott
Yeah, so I have mixed feelings about this book. There were absolutely some beautiful insights in it that I will return to. And I truly enjoy many examples of “queering” the Bible & the tradition. There are valid & fun reasons to. But, there are definitely times when it reads WAY too much into the text. I don’t necessarily think that every aspect of faith needs to have a “queer parallel” in order to support inclusion with our practice. We do that ourselves. Some of the examples seemed like they w ...more
Andrew K
Sep 23, 2020 rated it it was ok
text me for a review
Katherine Orr
Feb 06, 2021 rated it liked it
I can honestly say I only understood about 50% of this book. It wasn't hugely accessible and assumed quite a high level of theology knowledge from the reader. ...more
Jul 07, 2018 rated it liked it
Nice introduction to the material, but probably paints in too broad of strokes. The thesis centers on queer theology erasing boundaries that limit radical love and the author has a understanding of a wide view of perpsectives. The best part of the book is its bibliography which leads to me to do further reading and research.
Jeremy Garber
Mar 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: theology
Patrick S. Cheng provides an accessible, well-organized, yet provocative introduction to queer theology. Cheng, the Assistant Professor of Historical and Systematic Theology at Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, locates queer theology in the traditional loci of systematic theology in order to illustrate how that theology works and also to provide a wealth of resources for further reading. This work is an extremely readable introduction to how, as Cheng describes, being queer is also at the ...more
Oct 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
I have a lot of mixed feelings on Radical Love, but I was really glad to have read it. Cheng is extremely accessible, especially to people who have an open mind and no prior knowledge to the mind-bender that is Queer Theory. In some ways, I think he took liberties with the theoretical lens in order to use cultural references that a queer theorist should argue against (ex/ gay-dar and coming out of the closet). However, this book is a trove of other queer-focused religious literature and I wasn't ...more
Omar Abreu
May 16, 2016 rated it liked it
This book is an amazing introduction to Queer Theology. It was so informative, and offered a great overview of the many spheres within Queer Liberation theory. As a former Evangelical, it was very confronting to read about liberation theologies that differed from my experience (i.e. bodily hospitality). But as I read, I become more open to the scope of Queer Theology, and learned to appreciate the vastness of Queer Experience in a Christian context. I would strongly recommend this book for anyon ...more
May 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Cheng contends that "Christian theology is fundamentally a queer enterprise" what with doctrines like the Trinity, incarnation, etc. More than a simple overview or introduction to queer theologies, the book itself is a survey of all the traditional major doctrines of systematic theology around the organizing theme of radical love. He defines this as "a love so extreme that it dissolves our existing boundaries." Cheng writes that "Christian theology can be understood as a three-part drama about r ...more
Apr 04, 2021 rated it liked it
An introduction of this sort can go one of two ways. Either it can dig deeply into the most groundbreaking texts on the topic or it can give very brief descriptions of every text in the literature. This book takes the second approach and it is a mile wide and an inch deep. Its a whirlwind approach that will introduce you to everything the field has to offer but then leave you to go pick up those texts for more depth. As such, its a good starting point for someone new to the topic, but its not a ...more
Brian Hutzell
Oct 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: theology, bible, queer
There were several times when reading Radical Love that I found myself thinking, “Oh, come on! How are you possibly reading that into the text?!?” But then I thought of Jared Byas’ reminder that “All theology has an adjective,” mine included. So when I read a book which approaches the Bible through any lens different from my own, it is worth my while to pay attention and see what the author has to say. In that light, I found Cheng’s introduction to queer theology eye-opening.
Mar 01, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: christian
This was a great introduction and overview of major themes in queer theology. I liked that Cheng explained things well, and that he had a fantastic bibliography. Each chapter ends with discussion questions and a "for further reading" section, which I think is extremely helpful. This theology is new to me, but it was explained clearly and with good citations so I can reflect myself and see God in a new way. ...more
Robert A. Bongiovanni
A forceful yet compassionate case

Patrick Chang has written a concise, clear summary of the controversial field of Queer Theology. For the soul-weary gay person, Cheng offers encouragement with thoughtful, scholarly references. For the theologian, he promotes a “breaking open” of old ideas that have hindered full expression of radical love.
Lauren Elizabeth
Apr 06, 2020 rated it it was ok
I love the concept but the execution was not up to par. I got the gist within the first 10 pages. Often the author referenced things without fully explaining them and expected the reader to know what he was talking about. Also, much of the book was just him quoting other people’s thoughts. However, as I did not know anything about queer theology prior to this, I did learn the basics.
Elizabeth Bradshaw
Jun 09, 2020 rated it liked it
I enjoyed parts of this book, but as a member of the LGBTQ+ community seeking a way to bridge the gap with my conservative parents, some of the more extreme theological points (comparisons to the BDSM community, for example) made the book unsuitable as a bridge. It was helpful for me to reconcile my queerness with my faith, but not as much the other way around. A good starring place.
Jan 08, 2018 rated it liked it
This book is fine if you're already familiar with theology and queer studies and you're looking for a intro to how the two intersect. If you're familiar with only one or neither field, I think this book will probably leave you confused at best and turned off from queer theology at worst. Basically it's just too short. Cheng makes several controversial claims without giving a lot of time to flesh them out, leaving you confused as to what he really wanted to say. It's a short book that would have ...more
Mar 16, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, religion
A little highbrow for my taste. Interesting and enjoyable at times, but some of the leaps in logic seemed a little big for me. Good to push my thinking, though. The notion of Jesus as intersex was very thought-provoking.
Melodie Roschman
Aug 22, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: phd-reading
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 14, 2020 rated it liked it
I was hoping for a little depth in this book. It read more like one sentence descriptions of a lot of thinkers. Probably a good place to start to find deeper writing - hence the Introduction in the subtitle.
Greg Bolt
Jan 27, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Radical Love

This book does a fantastic job of exploring the ideas of radical. love and its dissolution of boundaries that we continue to hold I think this is great for those seeking a new way
Feb 16, 2021 rated it really liked it
A wonderful introduction to queer theology. However, Cheng does not spend much time on transgender theology and his discussions are rather binary. It often feels like trans theology is thrown in as an afterthought
Dec 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent, thought-provoking book that I wish had been around fifteen years ago when I really needed it.
Daniel Klawitter
Aug 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
A very accessible and well written intro to Queer Theology and scholarship with study questions and bibliography sections making it ideal for a bible study group situation.
Christopher Broadwell
Sep 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sex-and-gender
In this introduction to queer theology, Cheng covers quite a bit of theological ground. The ecumenical work, written with Christian traditions both Protestant and Catholic in mind, introduces this study by defining terms, a useful section in a ever-growing and changing field. Also in the first chapter Cheng makes detailed use of the Wesleyan quadrilateral, ascertaining how one arrives at queer theology. Cheng devotes the second chapter to the recent development of queer theologies (indicating fo ...more
Sep 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
A great text for a study group or a class where queer theology is one section (if one were doing a whole course, one would probably use the source texts instead). The style is of a textbook with study questions at the end of each chapter. In addition it is well cited at each chapter contains a list of works to read should one wish to learn more about the particular topic. It is very easy to read and does not suppose a high level of biblical exegesis, etc., explaining key terms along the way.

Jun 26, 2015 rated it it was ok
Though accessible and easy to read, I think Cheng may have taken his thesis--that queer theology is based on boundary-erasing love--too far. I found myself put off by the insistence that all boundaries should be crossed, especially in the chapter on Mary, the Mother of Christ, which intimated that even sexual boundaries between family members might be erased. To be fair, Cheng was speaking theologically, and specifically in reference to Mary and Christ, but our theology informs our decisions and ...more
May 09, 2019 rated it liked it
this is a difficult book for me to review (esp bc my rating is more like 3.5) and I read it alongside my community group, which entailed a lot of discussion, group learning, and to be frank, some critique of the content. I will say I learned a lot and that the book very much fulfilled its purpose — it was a great introduction to queer theology! I appreciated the framing of the trinity and how very queer that is (some fun hot takes: god is a top, sex in heaven is gonna be lit, etc.) but I thought ...more
Shay Gabriel
Jan 01, 2013 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: teachers
Probably a good teaching text, as it's accessible, but man do I hate the majority of queer theology (and I'm queer + Christian myself). I find queer theology fairly insipid.

I'm not interested in trying to project stereotypical tropes of my sexuality onto God, and I think LGBT perspectives are more important to theology in what they have to say about ecclesiology - the nature of the church, the challenges of community, and what it means to be in the Body of Christ.

A lot of ideas of queer theology
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