Author: William Edward Arnal
Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand
Release Date: 2012-12-27
The Sacred is the Profane collects nine essays by William Arnal and Russell McCutcheon that advance current scholarly debates on secularism-debates. The essays return, again and again, to the question of what "religion"—word and concept—accomplishes, now, for those who employ it, whether at the popular, political, or scholarly level. The focus here is on the efficacy, costs, and the tactical work carried out by dividing the world between religious and political, church and state, sacred and profane.
Baby, You Are My Religion argues that American butch-femme bar culture of the mid-20th Century should be interpreted as a sacred space for its community. Before Stonewall—when homosexuals were still deemed mentally ill—these bars were the only place where many could have any community at all. Baby, You are My Religion explores this community as a site of a lived corporeal theology and political space. It reveals that religious institutions such as the Metropolitan Community Church were founded in such bars, that traditional and non-traditional religious activities took place there, and that religious ceremonies such as marriage were often conducted within the bars by staff. Baby, You are My Religion examines how these bars became not only ecclesiastical sites but also provided the fertile ground for the birth of the struggle for gay and lesbian civil rights before Stonewall.