The Institute for Art, Religion and Social Justice at Union Theological Seminary presents “Godfull: Shape Shifting God as Queer,” a performative symposium convened by artist Carlos Motta and minister Jared Gilbert featuring performative lectures and performances by a group of academics, activists, artists and theologians to explore the intersections of queer politics, spirituality and social justice.
The regulation of sexual activity is the primary system for controlling bodies within religions and the societies they influence. Such regulations often authorize violence against bodies as well as the depravation and social stratification of gender and sexual identities. As lesbians and gays have gained unprecedented visibility and in some cases legislative recognition, American faiths have by and large opened their doors to those homosexuals who manage to comply with institutionalized systems of social respectability. These faiths are now unwittingly complicit in new forms of heteronormative oppression.
Queer sexuality, bodies and activism form the ground from which queer art, spirituality and political narratives nurture new visions of a just society. At the same time, queer communities remain in constant tension with these visions, always exploring the evolving and deviant backside of spiritual, political and social spaces.
“Godfull: Shape Shifting God as Queer” explores queerness as a constant force of disruption in theology and sexual politics. The participants speak of a “queerness” in theology that is particular and explicit of the queer body, a “queerness” that represents a constant pursuit of new social and spiritual revelations through deviant, subversive and indecent affirmations that will continue to challenge repressive notions of morality and respectability.
7–7:30pm For You, Lovett/Codagnone
7:30–7:35pm Welcome, Carlos Motta
7:35–7:45pm “ Godfull: Shape Shifting God as Queer,” Jared Gilbert
7:45–8:10pm “ Heaven for queers: visions of a different future,” Linn Tonstad
8:10–8:35pm “ Listening for a Change,” Robert Sember
8:35–8:50pm Coffee/bathroom break
8:50–9:15pm “Feeling Bad When Singing the ‘Good News’: A Performance Talk on Gospel Music, Affect and Sexuality,” Darnell L. Moore
9:15–9:35pm CIPHER, Samita Sinha
9:35–9:55pm Honoring the resilient souls of black womyn loving womyn folk, Sacred Walker/Union Queer Caucus and FIERCE
10–10:15pm Threshold of Revelation, Ernesto Pujol
10:15–11pm Discussion and Q&A
“Godfull: Shape Shifting God as Queer” was commissioned by The Institute for Art, Religion and Social Justice and is a project initiated by Carlos Motta as part of his artist residency at the Institute in spring 2013.
About The Institute for Art, Religion and Social Justice at Union Theological Seminary
The Institute for Art, Religion and Social Justice was founded in the spring of 2009 under the leadership of AA Bronson and Kathryn Reklis. The Institute’s mission is to explore the relationship between art and religion through the lens of social justice. In particular, the Institute is concerned with creating dialogue between the worlds of contemporary art and religion, and between artists and theologians. The Institute commissions and supports contemporary art projects and practices that focus attention on the interdependent themes of art, religion and social justice. More info here.