Moving the conversation beyond transgender inclusion to demonstrate the unique and vital theological insights transgender Christians can provide the church.
Father Shannon Kearns is familiar with liminal spaces. He’s lived in them his whole life. And while his experience as a transgender man has often made it difficult for him to fit in—especially in the context of Christianity—it has also shaped his perspective in important ways on complicated, gender-transgressing aspects of theology and Scripture.
In the Margins weaves stories from Shannon’s life into reflections on well-known biblical narratives—such as Jacob wrestling with the divine, Rahab and the Israelite spies, Ezekiel and the dry bones, and the transfiguration of Jesus. In each chapter, Shannon shows how stories have helped him make sense of his own identity, and how those same stories can unlock the transformative power of faith for those willing to listen with an open mind and stand alongside him in the in-between.
Table of Contents
Foreword by Paula Stone Williams Introduction 1. Eunuchs: Beyond Boundaries 2. Joseph: The Dreamer 3. Jacob: The Wrestler 4. Rahab: The Sexual Outsider 5. Ezekiel and Dry Bones: Healing Bodies 6. Jesus: In the Wilderness 7. The Transfiguration: Truth Telling 8. Easter Saturday and Easter Sunday: Pain and Power 9. The Kingdom of God: Courage to Be 10. Resurrection: New Beginnings Conclusion Glossary Further Reading Notes
Shannon T. L. Kearns is an ordained priest, a playwright, a theologian, and the cofounder of QueerTheology.com, which has reached more than a million people all over the world through videos, articles, and online courses and community.
“I love Shannon’s conviction that resurrection is not a moment, but a process. There is a holy unfolding in this book, as Scripture comes to life in a fresh, accurate, and authentic way. In the process Shannon blesses us with the story of his own resurrection.” — Paula Stone Williams from the foreword
“By blending the biblical narrative with his own, Kearns shows us just how resilient and adaptive our stories can be—for our selves, for our communities, and for our loved ones. This is the greatest kind of faithfulness—not to a single notion of God or to a certain set of unchanging rules, but to one another’s flourishing.” — Blake Chastain author and host of the Exvangelical podcast
“Woven together with his own personal experiences, In the Margins is honest and heartfelt. Father Shannon presents a transgender reading of the Bible in a way that is accessible without watering down the deep scholarship so clearly at its foundation. Cis and trans Christians, clergy and lay, alike have a lot to gain by reading this book.” — Elle Dowd author of Baptized in Tear Gas: From White Moderate to Abolitionist
“In telling his own story, Shannon Kearns somehow also manages to hold a mirror up to the reader. In the Margins doesn’t just provide this gift to readers who are transgender—I believe Kearns’s journey through American evangelicalism and his reclamation of his own body, autonomy, and faith will ring true for anyone blessed to find a copy.” — Austen Hartke author of Transforming: The Bible and the Lives of Transgender Christians
“I tell folks in my church, ‘Don’t read the Bible alone.’ It takes a community to do the discerning work such a powerful text requires. Shannon Kearns has expanded my community by inviting me into his company as a transgender Christian and a serious reader of Scripture. He shows me what my cis-straight self would easily miss—and isn’t that a good gift?” — Katie Hays author of God Gets Everything God Wants
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