Jonathan's Loves, David's Laments

Gay Theology, Musical Desires, and Historical Difference

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Dirk von der Horst
  • Eugene, OR: 
    Pickwick Publications
    , March
     196 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.
Review coming soon!

Review by Jennifer Rycenga forthcoming.


Jonathan's Loves, David's Laments uses early modern musical interpretations of David's Lament over Saul and Jonathan to deepen the historicist foundations of contemporary feminist and gay relational theologies. After laying out how gay theologian Gary David Comstock connects the story of David and Jonathan to the theology of lesbian theologian Carter Heyward, the argument interrogates both theological and exegetical problems in making those connections, which include contradictory theological stances with regard to modernity and history as well as the indeterminacy of the biblical text. Early modern musical interpretations of the text allow for a double move of engaging the texts through a sensual medium, thus reinforcing queer possibilities for meaning-making from the biblical text, and staying attuned to the fact that the history of interpretation reinforces the indeterminacy of the text, thus keeping queer interpretations aware of the relativizing function of historical difference.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Dirk von der Horst is Instructor of religious studies at Mount St. Mary's University, Los Angeles. He is a coeditor of Voices of Feminist Liberation: Writings in Celebration of Rosemary Radford Ruether (2012).

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