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date: 29 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Since the 1990s, queer theory has been immensely influential in the humanities, and, to a lesser extent, in the social sciences, seeping into discipline after discipline, even disciplines as well insulated as biblical studies. Queer theory is most commonly understood to be the poststructuralist analysis of sex and sexuality, heterosexuality as well as homosexuality. But as queer theory developed, it frequently decoupled from sex and sexuality, its expanded object of analysis becoming normality as such, in its manifold manifestations. This essay begins with a detailed account of the origins of queer theory: its “precursors,” its “exemplars,” and its relations to queer activism. The essay then charts the queer turn in biblical studies, especially New Testament studies, which also began in the 1990s, and traces such work down to the present, commenting both appreciatively and critically on the various paths it has taken. The final section of the essay brings the tale of extrabiblical queer theory fully up to date and reflects on the largely untapped potential for biblical studies of its more recent developments.

Keywords: queer theory, queer activism, queer exegesis, queer temporality, affect theory

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