Christian theology itself is a fundamentally queer enterprise because it also challenges and deconstructs - through radical love - all kinds of binary categories that on the surface seem fixed and unchangeable (such as life vs. death, or divine vs. human), but that ultimately are fluid and malleable.
Patrick Cheng - Radical Love: An Introduction to Queer Theology
…John McNeill has noted that Mary can be a powerful antidote to the purely paternal image of God that is emphasized in traditional Christian discourse. Similarly, Robert Williams argued that Mary is a way for Christians to connect with the divine goddess. For Williams, it is important to see Mary as a symbol of fertility and motherhood, as opposed to virginity. He argues that the emphasis on Mary’s virginity has often resulted in Mary–as well as women generally–being sentimentalized and put on a pedestal. As such, it is important not to venerate the “quiet, weak, perpetual virgin,” but instead the “awesome, powerful, beautiful, and fertile Queen of Heaven.”
Patrick S. Cheng, Radical Love: Introduction to Queer Theology
The openly gay theologian Eugene F. Rogers argues that creation is an act of pure grace on the part of God. God does not need to engage in the act of creation because God is already a self-sustaining community of love in the Trinity (that is, God contains ‘otherness’ that is required for love within Godself). God is under no compulsion to create the cosmos and human beings. Thus, creation is a pure act of grace and unmerited love.
If God is under no compulsion to engage in creation, then human beings are also under no compulsion to procreate in order to fulfill the image and likeness of God. Just as creation is an act of pure grace on the part of God, so is procreation. As such, marriage need not be restricted to one man and one woman. Unmerited self-giving love is at the heart of all forms of committed relationships, not procreation.
Patrick S. Cheng, Radical Love: An Introduction to Queer Theology, pgs. 66-7
For many queer people, the doctrine of eschatology - which includes matters such as the second coming of Jesus Christ, the Last Judgment, heaven, and hell - raises a number of difficult issues, particularly since many of us have been told from a young age that we are going to hell because of our sexualities and/or gender identities. As such, it is not surprising that LGBT theologians often do not address this doctrine in their theologies.
Ironically, however, the doctrine of last things may be the queerest doctrine of all because it is the ultimate return to the radical love that is so extreme that it dissolves all boundaries, then the ultimate dissolution of identities is what will occur at the end of time. As such, the doctrine of last things can be understood as the “horizon of radical love” to which we are all directed and oriented.
Dr. Patrick S. Cheng, “Last Things: Horizon of Radical Love,” Radical Love: An Introduction to Queer Theology
Queer theology is my main interest, both from an academic and personal belief standpoint. I love the work of Dr. Cheng. He brings in a wonderful viewpoint to his theology both as a gay man and as an Asian American.
The main topic of this work is this issue of sin, something widely ignored or brushed over by queer and other progressive theologians. He believes that sin should be discussed more but not in the way that is it usually used as a weapon against queer folk. In lieu of the “crime based” model usually offered he proposes a “Christ-based” model. In this model, sin is viewed as immaturity and grace is seen as moving towards the divine, something Cheng believes all of creation is doing.
Overall, I think this text offers interesting answers to queer folk who are dealing with the label of “sinner” so often given to us. It gives us a new way to view not only the sin of others but, more importantly, our personal sin.
Book 24--Radical Love: An Introduction to Queer Theology (Patrick S. Cheng)
“…Christian theology is a fundamentally queer enterprise because it focuses upon the incarnation, life, death, resurrection, ascension, and second coming of Jesus Christ, all of which are events that turn upside down our traditional understandings of life and death, divine and human, center and margins, beginnings and endings, infinite and finite, and punishment and forgiveness. As with the case of queer theory, it is in Jesus Christ that all of these seemingly fixed binary categories are ultimately challenged and collapsed.”