Document Type



Master of Arts (MA)


Religious Studies

First Advisor's Name

Whitney Bauman

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Oren Stier

Third Advisor's Name

Christine Gudorf


spiritual violence, religion, LGBT, queer theology, sexual dimorphism, Christianity, gay, lesbian

Date of Defense



This thesis addresses spiritual violence done to queer people in the sacrament of Communion, or Eucharist, in both Protestant and Roman Catholic churches in the U.S. Rooted in the sexual dimorphic interpretation of Genesis, theologians engendered Christianity with sexism and patriarchy, both of which have since developed into intricate intersections of oppressions. Religious abuse is founded on the tradition of exclusionary practices and is validated through narrow interpretations of Scripture that work to reassert the authority of the experiences of the dominant culture. The resultant culture of oppression manifests itself in ritualized spiritual violence. Queer people are deemed “unworthy” to take ‘the body and blood of the Christ’ and, in fact, are excluded altogether. This “unworthiness” is expressed as spiritual violence against queer people who are shunned and humiliated, internalize hateful messages, and are denied spiritual guidance or life-affirming messages. By “queering” Scripture, or reading the Bible anew through a framework of justice, queer people have begun to sacramentalize their experiences and reclaim their place at the table.





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