Queering Contemplation

Finding Queerness in the Roots and Future of Contemplative Spirituality

Queering Contemplation

Finding Queerness in the Roots and Future of Contemplative Spirituality

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Available May 21, 2024

What would it mean to queer contemplation? To disentangle contemplative spirituality from heteronormativity, patriarchy, and Eurocentricity, and instead engage with openness, curiosity, and a little weirdness?

The world of contemplative Christianity has yielded to the same voices for far too long, many of whom are from centuries before our time, with lives unlike our own, and often from experiences disconnected from marginalization, oppression, and what it feels like to be an outsider.

Cassidy Hall, an LGBTQIA+ Christian contemplative scholar and podcast host, takes us on a journey to queer the contemplative tradition.For Hall, queering is not solely about identifying as queer or applying queer theory; it is about what is gained by seeing things differently. "Queer," she says, "is the way I tilt my head to look at the world."

As queerness reawakened her own contemplative life, Hall discovered that queering and questioning the tradition allowed her to listen more closely to voices that are queer, marginalized, and oppressed--voices that have long existed but have often been overlooked or silenced. For Hall, that also meant moving differently into contemplation, into silence, into liminality and ritual. In showing us the way, she helps us envision what contemplative faith can look like, what spiritual spaces we can reclaim for welcome--and how queering contemplation, and lifting up queer contemplative voices, frees us to seek the infinite possibility of our own identity and engage our spiritual lives with open hearts and open hands. 

Whether you're queer or want to queer your own perspectives, or whether you want to uncover the queerness and queer voices in the contemplative tradition--Hall throws open the doors of contemplative spirituality for all, bringing us to contemplation in very new, sometimes old, but always queer ways.

Endorsements

"Hall retrains our imaginations for a spirituality that is more strange, more beautiful, and more honest than the doctrines we've often been cornered into."

Cole Arthur Riley

"Queering Contemplation is a paradigm shifter. Thank you, Cassidy Hall, for returning us to the wise matrix of Western Christian contemplation by synonymizing Mystery, equity, love, interconnectedness, kindness, social justice activism, and abundant, everyday mysticism. Sharing stories and teachings from the overlooked or silenced margins, Hall makes compassionate space for an evolving community of listening and belonging."

Carmen Acevedo Butcher, PhD, poet, and translator of Brother Lawrence's Practice of the Presence and of The Cloud of Unknowing

"Queering Contemplation opens a treasure chest of wisdom and perspective. This book is such an incredible contribution to increasingly diverse and inclusive contemplative resources."

Rev. Dr. Barbara A. Holmes, author of Joy Unspeakable and core faculty at the Center for Action and Contemplation

"If you simply find yourself not fitting into categories or often marginalized for being weird and odd, then you are one of those magical people Cassidy Hall is encouraging to walk an unencumbered spiritual path. In Queering Contemplation, she destroys the societal boxes we have been stuffed into, including those imposed upon us within our spiritual and religious sanctuaries. Hall calls us to dismantle uniformity and mainstreaming prayer and/or meditation so we can engage the Divine from our hearts and not be dictated by those in power who are confined to archaic and patriarchal beliefs. Most importantly, Hall removes the stigma of queerness and places queerness within an essential and open spiritual path of liberation, insight, and illumination--a path to be discovered within everyone."

Zenju Earthlyn Manuel, author of Opening to Darkness, Sanctuary, and The Way of Tenderness

"Cassidy Hall's Queering Contemplation is a beautiful and eloquent book, showcasing her articulate and deeply honest voice and vital message. She breaks new ground in making necessary and insightful connections between contemplation, sacred activism, and queerness. This book expanded my understanding of what it means to be contemplative, and to be queer. It's a book I'll return to again and again, and will enthusiastically recommend to others."

Carl McColman, author of The New Big Book of Christian Mysticism and Eternal Heart

"In our hectic and busy lives, we need a contemplative spirituality now more than ever. Cassidy Hall helps make a future where everyone is invited into contemplation. Whether you identify as LGBTQ+ or not, this book will queer your spiritual life."

Mason Mennenga, podcast host of A People's Theology

Reviews

"Readers will appreciate [Hall's] innovative analyses and authentic invitation to create one's own flexible, individual practice of contemplation. This will give curious Christians plenty to chew on."

Publishers Weekly

Product Info

  • Publisher Broadleaf Books
  • Format Hardcover
  • ISBN 9781506493398
  • eBook ISBN 9781506493404
  • Dimensions 5.75 x 8.75
  • Pages 170
  • Publication Date May 21, 2024
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