Border crossings? Queer spirituality and Asian religion: a first person account

Marsh, Victor (2007) Border crossings? Queer spirituality and Asian religion: a first person account. Gay & Lesbian Issues and Psychology Review, 3 2: 97-108.

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Author Marsh, Victor
Title Border crossings? Queer spirituality and Asian religion: a first person account
Journal name Gay & Lesbian Issues and Psychology Review   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1833-4512
Publication date 2007
Sub-type Article (original research)
Open Access Status File (Publisher version)
Volume 3
Issue 2
Start page 97
End page 108
Total pages 12
Editor Damien W. Riggs
Place of publication Melbourne, VIC, Australia
Publisher Australian Psychological Society
Collection year 2008
Language eng
Subject C1
380199 Psychology not elsewhere classified
750401 Religion and society
751005 Communication across languages and cultures
Formatted abstract
As constructed by conservative religious discourse, homosexuality is antagonistic to spirituality, but in this paper I suggest how marginalised subjectivities might be liberated from toxic, homophobic discourses by ‘border crossing’: seeking out tools from other cultural traditions to access knowledge resources that can support the urgent inquiry into the nature of the self precipitated by its bruising encounter with institutionally entrenched homophobia. Since the 1960s many men in Western countries have looked ‘East’ for answers to their metaphysical concerns, counterbalancing what is often assumed to be the one-way process in which 'the West' exerts influence upon 'the Rest'. The subjective repositioning that takes place through such practice occurs not just in cultural spaces, but also within the zone of conscious awareness loosely called the ‘mind’ as it recovers its roots in a transcultural zone of being/not-being. For the purposes of my discussion I separate the term ‘spirituality’ from ‘religion’. I see ‘religion’ as a sociological phenomenon, entailing inclusion in/exclusion from socially and politically valourised faith communities. I enlist the Zen Buddhist koan: “What was your face before your parents were born?” to deploy a usage of ‘spirituality’ as concerned with a searching enquiry into the nature of being, with an emphasis on empirical praxis rather than belief. From such an approach the construction of the personal self produced by political, social and linguistic constructs is radically re-configured, and the non-dual nature of these Asian approaches might allow for an accommodation of spirituality and sexuality.
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

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Created: Tue, 06 May 2008, 10:15:36 EST by Ms Catherine Squirrell on behalf of School of Communication and Arts