Inclusive Black congregations and Black ecclesial queering
Crowley, Brandon Thomas
MetadataShow full item record
Despite the Obergefell v. Hodges Supreme Court decision to legalize same-sex marriage, none of the seven mainline historically Black denominations have sought to redefine marriage or affirmatively welcome “out” LGBTQIA bodies of color. Notwithstanding the lack of radical hospitality and LGBTQIA affirmation within Black denominations, there are Black churches that unashamedly provide unprejudiced pastoral care, hospitable spiritual formation, and radically affirmative ecclesial settings for LGBTQIA persons of color. To date, no ecclesiological or practical theological research has been conducted on the practices of radical hospitality within these open and affirming Black congregations. Within my dissertation, I examine how three historically Black churches have queered their ecclesial contexts. I research three open and affirming Black congregations in the Boston, Massachusetts Metro Area to answer the following questions: How do these congregations understand what it means to be the church? What are the key defining characteristics of their ecclesiology? How and why have these churches “queered” their Black ecclesial contexts, including both their theology and praxis? The purpose of this investigation is to better understand why some Black congregations practice more radical inclusivity and what that might mean for the future of “Black churches” and Black ecclesiology. I intend to reimagine the nature, mission, and practices of the Christian church itself. While I am sure the findings of this research will contribute to the fields of Black church studies, ecclesiology, and practical theology, my goal is to preserve the history, protect the dignity, address the needs, examine the obstacles, foster understanding, reflect on the experiences, humanize the narratives, and analyze the ecclesiological elements of these particular congregations in order to work towards a Black queer ecclesiology.