REVIEWS and NEWS
For Women's History Month, Eerdmans Publishing named
Megan DeFranza in Five Great Women Scholars (and Their Books)
Rachel Evans: Follow friday
"I’ve been meaning to highlight Megan DeFranza's work for months now, as it has proved immensely helpful in some of my “real life” conversations about gender and sexuality, particularly with more conservative friends and family who are somewhat new to the conversation.
Much of her recent work has focused on sharing the stories and experiences of intersex people and examining what Scripture has to say about people who do not fit into rigid, binary gender categories. You can check out her findings in her book, Sex Difference in Christian Theology: Male, Female, and Intersex in the Image of God."
Review of “Sex Difference in Christian Theology” in the American Academy of Religion’s Reading Religion
DeFranza’s significant accomplishment is in providing a study which is much needed, thoroughly researched, and eminently readable. DeFranza succeeds in selecting, organizing, and integrating a wealth of information from a wide variety of disciplinary resources. This text is both a trustworthy introduction for new learners as well as a study of depth for those with experience considering sex, gender, and sexuality in Christian theology. …DeFranza models the virtues she calls upon … with respect to how she believes Christians ought to respectfully and compassionately discuss their differences with each other. This meticulously researched, and clearly written, text is accessible to non-specialists, including upper level undergraduates.
Alison Downie is Associate Professor in the Religious Studies Department at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
review of "Sex Difference" by Luke Timothy Johnson in Commonweal
Luke Timothy Johnson is Professor of New Testament and Christian Origins at Candler School of Theology and holds "Emory’s most distinguished endowed chair." In his review of Sex Difference in Christian Theology: Male, Female, and Intersex in the Image of God in the Catholic Magazine Commonweal, Johnson wites, "DeFranza has issued a challenge to contemporary theologians that deserves to be far more widely read than it probably will be." Thank you, Dr. Johnson, for taking the time to review the book and encourage a few others to do the same.
"...where would we be if Luther hadn’t questioned the doctrine he’d received? Who would we be if the Anabaptists hadn’t insisted the high road of discipleship is for all, rather than a religious elite? Even as we celebrate our spiritual ancestors’ bravery and encourage our faith leaders to speak what they said, we are warned against doing what our ancestors did, when they faithfully questioned certain religious doctrines and practices. ...
Can we create space in our churches and educational institutions for pastors and leaders to continue their journeys without driving them to the lonesome desert, the suffocating closet, or the grave?"
benjamin Corey Interview
Benjamin L. Corey, author of Undiluted: Rediscovering the Radical Message of Jesus and blogger at Patheos as "Formerly Fundy," interview's Megan to ask "If God only made Male and Female, then What about Intersex?"
Corey and DeFranza are both graduates of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in South Hamilton, MA and met "back in the day."
Christian Century Recommended Readings in Theology
But transgender issues are bigger than so-called bathroom bills and similar legislation. Society is beginning to see these issues as personal matters that affect the real lives of real people with real hurts.
"A few Christians out there are, thankfully, trying to think deeply about transgender people. Mark Yarhouse is a professor at Regent University School of Psychology and Counseling and author of“Understanding Gender Dysphoria: Navigating Transgender Issues in a Changing Culture.” Megan DeFranza is a visiting researcher at Boston University’s School of Theology and author of “Sex Difference in Christian Theology: Male, Female, and Intersex in the Image of God.” Here we discuss the complexity of transgender issues often overlooked by Christians."
featured blog: peter enns | patheos.com
Old Testament Scholar Peter Enns initiated a blog series inviting scholars and pastors to share how studying the Bible caused us to reconsider the conservative paradigms in which we were raised and trained.
Folks like us are sometimes accused of being duped by "liberal" or "secular" influences. While that may be true for some, for many of us, it was studying the Bible which forced a shift. This is the post in which I share my story. I'd encourage you to read the others as well. It can be comforting to know that we are not alone on this journey.
Pete is now blogging at "The Bible for Normal People"
ONLINE REVIEW: sojourner's "but what about intersex?"
"DeFranza’s key pastoral goal is to enable conservative Christians to hear the voices of intersex people and to understand their concerns over non-consensual surgeries and exclusion from the life of the church.
Sex Difference in Christian Theology is incredibly useful pastorally and fascinating theologically. It is neatly, almost precisely, split in two. The first half describes the medical, philosophical, and social history of intersex people and how we have built our sexual culture from a masculinity that totally identified with real humanity, to two sexes that are ontologically different."
book review: john seel | evangelical for social action
“This is a book that will require (and deserves) multiple readings. Part of her success lies in her humble and understanding tone.”
“Reality is inherently messy. It was into this mess that Christ came and will come again. We may wish life to be neat and clean, but it rarely is. It’s time for older folks like me to follow our kids’ lead into the messiness of life. This book is a bracing starting point.”
interview: public conversations project
"I have to be honest, I had no idea where my research would lead me when I began to wrestle with gender differences and what they were supposed to mean as I figured out my own life—specifically, what kinds of ministry women like me (from a conservative Christian background) were allowed to pursue, how I was to conduct myself, how marriages were supposed to function, etc. I struggled with biblical passages which seemed to restrict women from teaching—something I loved and was encouraged to pursue—as well as gender stereotypes that underscored theological arguments. "
INTERVIEW: SOJOURNER'S | "BEYOND BATHROOMS"
"But transgender issues are bigger than so-called bathroom bills and similar legislation. Society is beginning to see these issues as personal matters that affect the real lives of real people with real hurts.
A few Christians out there are, thankfully, trying to think deeply about transgender people. Mark Yarhouse is a professor at Regent University School of Psychology and Counseling and author of Understanding Gender Dysphoria: Navigating Transgender Issues in a Changing Culture. Megan DeFranza is a visiting researcher at Boston University’s School of Theology and author of Sex Difference in Christian Theology: Male, Female, and Intersex in the Image of God. Here we discuss the complexity of transgender issues often overlooked by Christians."
BOOK REVIEW: JOURNAL | SOCIOLOGICAL INTEGRATION OF RELIGION & SOCIETY
"After reading every word of this book twice (once for a back cover endorsement, and again for this review), I come away wanting to read it again. I look forward to teaching it each spring in an undergraduate interdisciplinary course because it deserves careful reading and extensive dialogue.
Sex Difference contributes to theological anthropology by questioning how attention to the intersex condition may shape major domains of theology: the image of God, the ways in which Jesus images God, and what it means that each person bears God’s image. The book begins by asking, “How do we measure the mysterious difference between a man and a woman?"