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date: 23 April 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter explores the theme of silence about sexuality within religious communities. The discussion focuses not only on sexuality as religious taboo that necessitates silence but also on innovative ways to talk about sex while containing the taboo through uses of humor, indirect speech, vagueness, and euphemism. The authors argue that research can benefit from a closer examination of how discourse about sexuality within a religious context is often double-voiced, especially among those whose sexual practices and identifications are censored by religious dogma. The chapter explores this tension in the existing literature and then uses linguistic data to illustrate how people can use speech and silence to circumvent and transgress religious and linguistic taboos.

Keywords: silence, sexuality, religion, taboo, double-voiced, discourse, transgress

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