Podcast on Religion, Gender, and Sexuality at the Institute of Religious Studies
News from Jun 16, 2020
Just as religion influences societal perceptions of gender and sexuality, so sexuality is a central theme in religious systems of interpretation. Since the 1970s, this mutual relationship among religion, gender, and sexuality has become increasingly prevalent in the German-language media landscape. Countless videos, audio files, texts, and images contain reports, interviews, features, and commentaries on this complex topic. Concepts of women and men in different religious traditions, heterosexuality postulated as a social norm, and questions about celibacy and abstinence are particularly frequent themes. Many questions are posed: What is the role of women in different religions? Are women and men equal? What effect does state recognition of same-sex partnerships have? Is there a connection between celibacy and sexual abuse? And how much sexual pleasure is permitted within the framework of which sexual morality?
This podcast takes up these and other questions about the interrelations of religion and sexuality in a series of lectures and panel discussions. In particular, the series deals with the so-called five major world religions: Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Judaism, and Islam. However, the focus is also on alternative forms of religiosity, as well as contexts outside or on the fringes of organized religion – especially those in which sexuality, physicality, and the acceptance of sexual variance (LGBTQI*) constitute important points of attraction. In order to discuss these issues from diverse perspectives, representatives of various scientific disciplines and religious institutions have their say. In addition to gender and sexuality, the theoretical background is comprised of structural categories such as ethnicity, class, nationality, age, and even the body, which allow for the inclusion of issues such as diversity and intersectionality. In this way, space is also and particularly made for perspectives that focus on multiple affiliations and the interplay of different forms of discrimination in the context of religion and sexuality.
For more information on the podcast (which is in German!), click here.