A new portrait of queer Latina theologian Marcella Althaus-Reid was put on display recently at New College School of Divinity at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland.
The painting is now mounted in the Rainy Hall, a communal dining room that is the social hub for students and faculty of the divinity school. The elegant Gothic revival room features various portraits, fancy chandeliers, ornate gilding, and wood paneling adorned with coats of arms.
Key concepts from her theology are handwritten in chalk on the blackboard: otherness, difference, decency, indecency, freedom, undressing and sexual ethics. The images on the wall behind her include the virgin of Guadalupe, a portrait of socialist philosopher Karl Marx, an antique map of South America, a snapshot of a couple dancing the Argentine ballroom dance known as the tango, and a poster for an Argentine rock band.
Her first book, “Indecent Theology,” was published in 2000 and established her international reputation as a self-proclaimed “indecent, Latina, bisexual theologian.” The book challenges the sexual oppression behind traditional Christian concepts of decency and introduces theology rooted in the context of people whose sexual freedom has been limited. In 2003 she wrote “The Queer God.” The book aims to liberate God from the closet of sex-negative Christian thought and embraces God’s role in the lives of LGBTQ people.
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