Thinking Anglicans

Sexuality and Anglican Identities

The University of Chester is engaged in a two-year project, Sexuality and Anglican Identities.

This seeks to engage the Academy, Chaplaincy and Church in conversation about current issues relating to sexuality within the contemporary Anglican context. A particular focus will be on how articulation of various positions on these matters, contribute to competing claims to Anglican identity. The project is funded by the Church Universities Fund.

The first of two open forums at Chester Cathedral, The Past, Present and Future of Christian Marriage, was held on Saturday 22 October, 2016. The second open forum, New Directions in Sexualities and Christianity, will be held from 1 pm to 3 pm on Saturday 11 February. The speakers will be

– Professor Adrian Thatcher, University of Exeter

– Dr Susannah Cornwall, University of Exeter

– The Rev Dr Mark Vasey-Saunders

– Dr David Hilborn, St John’s School of Mission

On Saturday 6 May there will be a day conference, for which there is a call for papers. Proposals of not more than 300 words to be with Dr Jessica Keady ( by 28 February.

More information is on a public Facebook page here.

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Fr William
7 years ago

As a former Professor of Anatomy who taught embryology to generations of medical students in Nottingham, Dublin and Derby, I’m struck by the absence of developmental and evolutionary zoologists in these discussions. If theology does not fit biology, then theology needs to change. Or perhaps Anglicans are biologically different from other primates (apes not archbishops).

7 years ago

Don’t blame them too hard, Fr William, those conversations on sex, boring as they are, are a convenient distraction from the really challenging stuff. I’m still waiting for theologians to come to grips with the fact that death did not enter the world because of human sin or that the systematic destruction of the weakest and meekest over aeons is the method a loving creator should have built in his creations or the emergence of humankind. The church has stopped listening to hard science for centuries.

Fr William
7 years ago

Very good, Lorenzo. Last week I heard intercessions asking the Lord to encourage scientists to develop new antibiotics. I felt so sorry for the microorganisms that would be zapped. After all, they are God’s creatures too.

7 years ago

yes, it’s a little difficult to see how sexual dimorphism can be considered a divinely imposed requirement for coupling and marriage as well as being an evolutionary adaptation. If learned theologians want to go with the former and not the latter, they’ll have to explain the divine reasoning behind such glories as parasitism, mass extinction, predation on the weakest as a condition of the mergence of higher forms of life such as the aforementioned sexually dimorphic ones… please invite biologists and geneticists.

Fr William
7 years ago

Humans with external genitalia of one sex, internal of another. Rare but it does happen, Or those with chromosomal sex that differs from physical, Or those with one testis and one ovary, And what about penile congenital anomalies such as hypospadias, quite common, which is in some degree a reversion towards the default position – female. How do the bishops intend to define male and female? Will they be inspecting genitalia? Thomas Harris in Conclave is on to this. All good fun.

7 years ago

In other words, leaders in the church, like the majority (LCD?) of humanity, take the easy answer so they can feel like they have God in their pockets and no need to ever change, adapt or struggle.

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