Transforming: The Bible and the Lives of Transgender Christians

Book, 2018, 198 pp
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In 2014, Time magazine announced that America had reached "the transgender tipping point," suggesting that transgender issues would become the next civil rights frontier. Years later, many people--even many LGBTQ allies--still lack understanding of gender identity and the transgender experience. Into this void, Austen Hartke offers a biblically based, educational, and affirming resource to shed light and wisdom on this modern gender landscape.

Transforming: The Bible and the Lives of Transgender Christians provides access into an underrepresented and misunderstood community and will change the way readers think about transgender people, faith, and the future of Christianity. By introducing transgender issues and language and providing stories of both biblical characters and real-life narratives from transgender Christians living today, Hartke helps readers visualize a more inclusive Christianity, equipping them with the confidence and tools to change both the church and the world.

Clear, compelling, and profoundly moving, this book should be on the shelf of every pastor, every parent, and every Christian of good conscience who wants to engage the conversation around gender and sexuality with integrity. Hartke carefully unpacks the terminology, sociological studies, and biblical and theological perspectives that most impact transgender Christians, and combines them with compelling personal stories including his own to point us toward truth. It's rare to find a book that manages to be this intellectually rigorous and this readable at the same time. I'll be recommending this book to friends and readers for years to come." --Rachel Held Evans, author of Searching for Sunday and Inspired

"Weaving biblical examples of gender nonconformity and transformation with the stories and voices of contemporary trans Christians, Hartke’s approach is both pastoral and prophetic as he addresses harmful Christian theology that has been used to further marginalize and exclude trans people. Hartke’s scriptural basis for a trans-affirming theology offers a healing balm for queer and trans people who have ever questioned that God loves them based on “what it says in the Bible,” while challenging progressive Christian communities to center trans perspectives in their efforts to become truly open and affirming." —Sojourners

"Hartke [...] poses many questions and finds answers in the Bible, sometimes surprising ones, as his equation of contemporary transgender people with eunuchs, the gender-nonconforming people of the ancient world. He also discusses the corporeal nature of Jesus and extrapolates from that a discussion of embodied theology. But his leitmotif remains the search for a welcoming religious community. It's an informative and illuminating quest, supplemented by an extensive appended list of further reading and resources. This is an important book that fills an urgent need." --Booklist

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