Third Annual Boswell Lecture to Discuss Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, And Transgender Issues in the Black Church

April 27, 2010

BERKELEY, CA – The Rev. Dr. Kelly Brown Douglas, professor and chair of philosophy and religion at Goucher College, will present the third annual John E. Boswell Lecture: "The Black Church and the Blues Body," April 30, 6:30 p.m. at the Pacific School of Religion Badè Museum. The event is sponsored by CLGS and the Dismantling Racism Committee, of Pacific School of Religion, and the Black Seminarians, and Women's Studies in Religion Program, of the Graduate Theological Union.

The Black Church's difficulty accepting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) bodies reflects a broader discomfort with matters of sexuality and the "blues body" - bodies that contest white/patriarchal/heterosexual/middle-class standards of propriety.
Using sexuality as the prism through which to examine the relationship between the Black Church and the blues body can help to untangle the web of historical, cultural, and religious narratives that frustrate the Black Church's acceptance of blues bodies. Is there a way for the Black Church to be both black and blue?
Kelly Brown Douglas holds the Elizabeth Conolly Todd Distinguished Professorship at Goucher College, near Baltimore. The Rev. Dr. Douglas is a leading voice in the development of womanist theology, which studies the religious experiences of African American women. Essence magazine counts Douglas "among this country's most distinguished religious thinkers, teachers, ministers, and counselors." Her books include: The Black Christ, Sexuality and the Black Church, and What's Faith Got to Do with It?
The John E. Boswell Lectureship is made possible through a special endowment fund initiated by CLGS to honor the life and scholarship of John Boswell, one of the 20th century's most important historians of LGBT people and religion. The lectureship brings a leading scholar in LGBT religious studies to the PSR campus each spring semester for a lecture and symposium to foster groundbreaking scholarship in the mold of John Boswell.
The Third Annual Boswell Lecture is free and open to the public. There will be a reception prior to the lecture at 5:30 p.m.
Pacific School of Religion Badè Museum is located at 1798 Scenic Avenue, Berkeley, CA.

Founded in 2000, the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in Religion and Ministry at Pacific School of Religion is the first seminary-based center for the study of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender issues in the nation. The Center works to transform faith communities and the wider society by taking a leading role in shaping a new public discourse on religion and sexuality through education, research, community building, and advocacy. For more information about CLGS, please visit:
A multidenominational Christian seminary in Berkeley, California, Pacific School of Religion has been preparing bold leaders for historic and emerging faith communities since 1866. PSR's graduates are known for innovative ministries of compassion and justice around the world - in urban and rural parishes, on city streets and college campuses, in the arts, public policy, and many other fields. PSR is a member of the Graduate Theological Union (GTU), an interfaith consortium of seminaries and institutes in the Bay Area. For more information, please visit: