Queer Theology?

The words ‘Queer’ and ‘Theology’ might seem to some people to not exactly fit together. Some would argue that  the very concept is an oxymoron. However, there are many Christian traditions that are now embracing the LGBTQ+ movement to varying degrees and are developing a theology that embraces this diversity.

There are currently two books in our physical library collection that reflect on this topic (Queer Theology: Rethinking the Western Body and Shameless: A sexual reformation) and more in our digital collection (while you are here why not check out our digital LGBTQ+ History Month Collection here: bit.ly/3JMx1dc). In this blog post we will give a short introduction to the two books in our physical collection.

Our LGBTQ+ History Month Book Display

Queer Theology: Rethinking the Western Body (233.5 LOU)

In the introduction to this book Gerard Loughlin states that ‘theology is a queer thing, it has always been a queer thing’ (2007, p7). The book gives a thorough and academic look at the nature of the human person and questions that emerge in the Church with regards to LGBTQ+ issues and LGBTQ+ individuals. The writers challenge traditional understandings of sex, sexuality, and marriage, and seek to develop a tradition of queer theology that is defended using scripture and tradition. The book includes a good amount of testimony and the stories of individual Christians but also has some articles of deep theological argument.

The book covers the Roman Catholic dimension very thoroughly, but would have benefitted from references to important developments in the area of Queer theology from other denominations. For example, theological developments in the area of Queer theology in Lutheran Churches (A Social Statement on Human Sexuality: Gift and Trust (elca.org) and Resources for the LGBTQIA+ Community – Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (elca.org)), The Methodist Church (Guidance and Resources for Same-Sex Marriage (methodist.org.uk)), or from the Quakers (Quakers and same-sex marriage | Quakers in Britain), to name only a few examples.

This book is well worth a read. No matter what your position it will challenge you. However, given its age (being from 2007), it might be worth exploring some more recent material too.

Queer Theology: Rethinking the Western Body and Senior Information Assistant Joseph

Shameless: A sexual reformation (241.66 BOL)

Shameless: A sexual reformation is a book by Lutheran Pastor and Theologian Nadia Bolz-Weber. Drawing on the Lutheran principles of the need for constant reform in the Church, and the pastoral nature of theology Nadia discusses Christian understandings of sex and sexuality from a unique angle. She discusses how at times it can be taught that to be a Christian is to be a ‘heterosexual, cis gender Christian who never has sex with anyone until they marry their one true love and make babies’ (Bolz-Weber, 2019, p3) and how such an understanding would mean that ‘if that’s ‘God’s plan’, then God planned poorly’ (Bolz Weber, 2019, p3).

Nadia and her congregation produced the Denver Statement (The Denver Statement | Nadia Bolz Weber (patheos.com)) which proclaimed a theology of love and acceptance, and a God who accepts people where they are. Her book defends a theology that embraces all people on the LGBTQ+ spectrum.

Shameless is a deeply moving account of life in a Church (Home – House for All Sinners & Saints) that deals with questions of sexuality and identity in a humane and loving way and accepts everyone as they are. However, it could be argued that this text lacks some theological substance. The book is focused on the stories of individuals and arguably gives a vision of the future of Christianity but the inclusion of more scriptural analysis would have strengthened her position from a theological perspective.

Shameless: A Sexual Reformation

Conclusion

We hope that you have enjoyed our musings on these two books. If it has piqued your interest, why not head to the library and borrow one or both? Or look online for the many books on similar topics that you will be able to access.

Bibliography

Bolz-Weber, N. (2019). Shameless: A sexual Reformation. Canterbury Press, London, UK.

Loughlin, G. (2007). Queer Theology: Rethinking the Western Body. Ed. Loughlin, G.Blackwell Publishing. Oxford, UK.

We remember

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At this time each year our thoughts turn to those who served in the Great War of 1914-18 and other conflicts since.

Among the AKLC team, Chris recalls his great-grandfather, Bill Goosey, who earned the Military Medal whilst in action with the Northamptonshire Regiment in France in March 1918.  His war came to an end when he was gassed two months later.

Bill Goosey

Julia is the granddaughter of Walter Sherrington, another Military Medal recipient who, coincidentally, served in the same regiment as Bill from April 1918 until wounded on the Western Front in September.

James Garside Dowd, forebear of Steven, was recalled to the West Riding Regiment on the outbreak of war, shot in the leg in Belgium during August 1915 and discharged in November 1917.  Tragically, he was killed in an explosion whilst working in a Nottinghamshire shell-filling factory in July 1918.

Herbert Antcliff, great-grandfather of our IT colleague Dale, survived over three years of trench warfare, having landed in France with the Cameronians (Scottish Rifles) in August 1915.

For those who wish to learn more about their own ancestors, Remembrance Sunday weekend often presents the ideal opportunity, as various on-line resources are made available free of charge for a limited period (do check the terms and conditions). Ancestry.com can be accessed for a trial period, however it is also available in some local council libraries e.g. Leeds. Details of those who died in the two world wars can always be found on the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website https://www.cwgc.org/

National Poetry Day 2021

It’s National Poetry Day on the 7th October and at the Library some us have been musing about our favourite Poems

Caroline says “It’s a really obvious one, but I love ‘Hope is the thing with feathers’ by Emily Dickinson, also ‘Serenity Prayer’ by Brian Bilston”. After the past 18 Months we could all do with Brian Bilstons’ request to “send me a slow news day”!

Chris is partial to the  ‘Ambulances‘ by Philip Larkin, a story about the end of life. A bit of a cheery one for us!

Julia remembers Walter de la Mare ‘The Listeners‘ from her childhood and still wonders about the meaning and whether there really was “anybody there?”

Marion likes ‘Daffodils‘ by William Wordsworth as she loves the beginning of spring time and also enjoys walking in the Lake District. In fact she took this photo of some of the words engraved in Grasmere just last week

Sarah C recently went on a heritage open day visit to Pontefract and heard ‘The Licorice Fields at Pontefract’ by John Betjemin which she was rather taken with.

Jax nominates ‘Beasley Street by John Cooper Clarke a poem dealing with poverty in the 1980’s which she says is “as relevant today as ever.”

Laura recommends Honestly‘ by new poet Hollie McNish, a poem about wanting perfection, but not the work that goes into getting it!

The theme of National Poetry Day this year is “choice”. So if you want to choose a poem, pop along to the Library and have a look in our adult poetry section on the second floor 811 (American) or 821 (English). We also have a section of children’s poetry with our Classroom Resources.

New online resources!

Searching our online resources

We have 3 great new resources available to search via your LTU login.  

Computer Science Database has millions of articles on Computer Science and Information Technology.

From Security and Web Commerce, to Software Development and The Internet, it has it all covered!

Emerald Health & Social Care Collection has journal articles from lots of subject areas.  From Health Care Provision to Criminal Behaviours and lots more, the wide coverage means that it is a useful tool for a number of LTU courses.  

Both Computer Science Database and Emerald Health & Social Care Collection can be searched both through our one-stop Library search or as individual databases.   

Our final one is the Encyclopaedia of Forms and Precedents (part of LexisLibrary). A collection of over 15,000 legal forms with commentary on the relevant Law and Practice in areas such as Land Law, Commercial Law and Landlord & Tenant.  This is available within Lexis Library, just look in the “My Bookshelf” section. 

If you want to find out more about these or any other resources, please just contact your Liaison Librarian

Ch…Ch…Ch…Changes

We have two fantastic changes this year. 

Firstly, the introduction of our new Catalogue. At the Library  we are really excited about our new one-stop search.  You can search books, journal articles and videos and more using our new Library search.  With added advanced searching it will make finding the right resources easier for you. To be able to view all the results, and reserve items just make sure you are logged in with your LTU credentials.  

You can also check your Library Account by clicking on “My Library Account” to see which items are on loan and their current return date.

Library search is in its development phase and we also want to get you involved. Tell us what you think of it and how it could be improved.   You can send your feedback here, or email libraryenquiries@leedstrinity.ac.uk

Our second change ……drum roll ….is   auto-renewals.    Some of you might be wondering  what that is, but it’s quite easy.  It is just something that renews your books automatically.   All books are loaned initially for a 2-week  period. Then, unless someone else reserves it, each week it will keep renewing.  Our new Library System does the work for you.  We will be sending you  email notices if the book is reserved by someone else, and you will have 7 days to return it or start to incur fines of £ 1.00 a day. This may affect further borrowing, so it is important that you keep an eye on your LTU email.

  See, it IS easy!   

A return to some normality this September

AKLC by night

As the nights will be drawing in soon (sorry!), our opening hours will be extending. From September 6th our opening times will be back to pre-Covid levels and more study spaces will be available.  It’s a big “YAY” from us.  

Library 0pening times will be   

8:00 – 21:00 Monday – Thursday*

8:00 – 18:00 Friday  * 

13.00-20.45 Saturday & Sunday*

*From 08.00am-08.30am on weekdays & all weekend the Library is open and staffed by Security.

More details of opening times and potential changes are available on our website.

Our Group Study Rooms

No need to book study spaces  

All individual study spaces, included carrels and pods, will be open and free to use without booking. You will still need to book the Group Study Rooms, but now actual groups can use them! Can we have another “YAY”?  We are reducing the need for 2m distancing, but if you would prefer a more cautious approach, the study spaces on Second Floor and in the Silent Study Room will retain a 2m rule.  Just be sensible and respectful of others and use the cleaning props, dotted around, to wipe your space after use.  

The University still recommends that you wear a mask indoors, unless you are exempt.  That includes the AKLC.  We have removed the one-way system, so be free to wander in any direction you choose, even in circles if you prefer!  

Serendipity and the return of browsing  

Woman browsing the shelves

I am sure you have all missed popping along to the shelves to find that book on your reading list. But what about that feeling of coming across a great book  that you were not necessarily looking for?  We believe in happy accidents or serendipity as well. So, it’s good news all round that Click & Collect has stopped so you can walk amongst  the shelves again. Who knew that when you were looking for Dracula you might come across The Woman in  White.  Not that we are trying to scare you here, but you get the picture!

Obviously to make this happen we are still mindful of health & safety; so, we are asking that only one of you enters a shelving bay at a time and use the hand gel located nearby.   We are also opening up the self-service kiosks for you to use once again, so you don’t have to queue at the Library Helpdesk to borrow items.  You can, of course, opt to borrow at the Helpdesk if you prefer, the staff are always happy to oblige.  

If you would prefer to browse our collections online first, you can search our library catalogue here, and also place reservations if the book you need is already out on loan.

Signage and hand gel

Down but not out: LTU Library Services in the time of coronavirus

So, we don’t know about you, but we are really missing the Library.  It’s not just any old workplace y’know – it’s a hub of learning, of discovery, a place to meet with our colleagues and friends, a gateway to information.  Most of all, we miss interacting with you – our students and staff, seeing your friendly faces, and helping with your enquiries – not to mention our daily fix of Debs and her coffee!!

We are sure that in good time we will all be back there again, and look forward to that day – but in the meantime, guess what?  Your friendly library team are still very much here to support you, just in a virtual capacity!!

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Some of our super Helpdesk staff!

So how can we help you?

  • Ask us questions! We are still available to help with your enquiries from Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm.  Just drop us an email to libraryenquiries@leedstrinity.ac.uk and one of the team will be on hand to help.
  • Your library record – any loans due on or after 1st March 2020 have been automatically renewed until 28th September 2020.  You will not be charged any fines for overdue items during the closed period – so hopefully that’s one less thing to worry about!
  • Access our fantastic online resources! You can access thousands of ebooks through the Library Catalogue, ejournal articles via the Journals search or view all of our databases via the Databases A-Z.

0116ebooks
Tablet on a pile of print books

  • We also have lots of new, extra resources that publishers have made temporarily available during the current coronavirus period. These include EBSCO eBooks Academic Collection, Cambridge Core Textbooks and ProQuest Academic Complete, to name but a few. Check out the full list on our website.
  • Need help navigating all of these online resources?  We have lots of guides to help you with your searching skills – check out our Be Brilliant pages!  If you need more help email us at libraryenquiries@leedstrinity.ac.uk and one of our librarians will get in touch.

bebrilliant
Our ‘Be Brilliant’ tutorials webpage

  • Finally, if there’s a book you’d like to get hold of in our print collection (or even if it’s not!) you can request this and we will try our best to get hold of an e-book copy for you! Simply tell us what you need via our Request form.

We hope you are keeping well and taking care of yourselves at this difficult time.  If you need any additional support, resources or guidance then please don’t hesitate to ask!

Be Brilliant!

What exactly is Be Brilliant?

Be Brilliant is a section of the library webpage where you’ll find a collection of resources to help you develop your academic skills.

bebrilliant

Sounds useful. How do I access the Be Brilliant pages?

If you go to the library homepage and select the ‘Be Brilliant at’ tab from the menu list on the right hand side you’ll be taken to the Be Brilliant homepage.

What can I expect to find on the Be Brilliant pages?

You’ll find interactive tutorials, videos and PDFs that will help improve your skills in searching for, evaluating and referencing information.

Everything on the Be Brilliant pages is available on and off campus which means you can access them anytime, anywhere and improve your skills and confidence at a time that suits your particular needs.

bebrilliant tutorials

What if I need more help?

If you need further help searching for, evaluating or referencing information you can drop into the library Enquiry Point between 11-3 from Monday – Friday to speak to a duty librarian (ask at the Helpdesk; no appointment necessary).

Alternatively you can get in touch with your Liaison Librarian – each subject area has one. Find the contact details for your librarian on the About – Contact page on the library website.

We hope you find these resources useful!

Spotlight on: Classroom Resources

If you’ve been in the library lately, you may have noticed some exciting changes happening!  During the summer, our fantastic Classroom Resources collection has had a makeover.

classroom resources

We now have brand new lower height shelving, which is more flexible & accessible. We have also separated out children’s literature which is shelved at 823.  This will make both browsing and locating items easier for us all.  Phew, that’s a relief!

We’ve also changed the loan period of the whole collection to 6 weeks; and you still have unlimited renewals, meaning you can keep the items for longer if no-one else wants them.  In addition to all of this we’ve bought lots of new stock for the collection to bring it bang up to date. Books within the collection are still shelved using the same system (Dewey) you find in the main collection e.g. 001-999; so Maths books will be under 510 etc.

If you’re not familiar with the Classroom Resources collection, here is a little heads up on what great things you can find there:

  • The collection includes books and teaching materials to support classroom teaching in all curriculum areas, from EYFS to A-level.
  • There’s also a fantastic children’s literature collection that caters for all reading abilities. They are shelved in alphabetical order by author surname, and are colour coded to reflect reading level.

eyfs

But that’s not all! If you look around you will also find collections of big books and boxes containing story sacks and other objects to use in the classroom.  Remember…. all these can be borrowed for 6 weeks at a time.

classres

So where is this amazing collection?    You can find it on the library ground floor towards the back.  Look for the big hanging sign!

If you have any problems finding it, or need any help using the collection, just ask a member of library staff.  Happy browsing!