Walking the Back of The Crocodile: A Manual of Biblical Interpretation for Queer Members of the Black Church

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2023

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Abstract

June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States, ruled that same sex marriage was constitutional, extending the right and its accompanying benefits to millions of persons to whom legal recognition of their marriages were denied on a federal level. With a sense of urgency, several of the Black Church denominations put out statements affirming that marriage is only recognized in a heterosexual frame. And while expressing love for the Queer community, each statement from these Black Church denominations stated that same sex marriage was against the Bible. The response of the Black Church concerning same sex marriage illustrates its weaponization of the Bible against Queer members of the Black Church who, are often unequipped to blunt the weaponization of the Bible against them, opting for either a rejection of affectional orientation, or a passive existence both which reinforce shamed based pathologies and correlates with unsafe practices which fester in contexts where communal accountability is absent. This project aims to provide Queer members of the Black Church with a manual for biblical interpretation, one which is rooted in the interpretative strategies of the Church, and particularly that of the Black Church whose interpretative strategies blunted the weaponization of the Bible in support of slavery and Black inferiority. Available research from historians, biblical scholars, theologians, social scientists, and journalist were utilized in support of this project. This project examines: the taboo framing of Black sexuality, how the Bible was developed, biblical interpretative strategies, Black Church interpretative strategies, and the importance of self-awareness in biblical interpretation.

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Matthews Jr, Clifford (2023). Walking the Back of The Crocodile: A Manual of Biblical Interpretation for Queer Members of the Black Church. Dissertation, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/27560.

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