This unit (1) examines the diverse views in the Bible on sex and sexuality and (2) considers ways in which biblical interpretation could be enriched by taking into account the matters of sex and sexuality. The unit will stress the richness of the Bible, and of the tasks of biblical interpretation, by the study of selected texts and the discussion of questions such as, What makes a perspective on sexuality biblical? What to do, and how, when biblical perspectives contradict? How might one assess the ways that biblical texts have been used as authoritative resources for discussing and regulating sexual ethics, identity and practice? How do changing notions of sex and sexuality impact the way biblical texts are interpreted? What may we do to make biblical interpretation more sexy?

Unit code: BS3070P

Unit status: Archived (New unit)

Points: 18.0

Unit level: Undergraduate Level 3

Unit discipline: Biblical Studies

Proposing College: Pilgrim Theological College

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Learning outcomes


Analyse heteronormative biblical views on sex and sexuality


Assess different interpretations of biblical texts on sex and sexuality


Develop skills in queer and sensual reading of selected biblical texts


Utilise methodological and exegetical resources on selected biblical texts

Unit sequence

15 points in Biblical Studies


Lectures, seminars, tutorials

Indicative Bibliography

  • Althaus-Reid, Marcella. Indecent Theology: Theological Perversion in Sex, Gender and Politics. New York: Routledge, 2000.
  • Carr, David M. The Erotic Word: Sexuality, Spirituality, and the Bible. New York: Oxford, 2003.
  • Coogan, Michael. God and Sex: What the Bible Really Says. New York: Twelve, 2010.
  • Douglas, Kelly Brown. Sexuality and the Black Church: A Womanist Perspective. Maryknoll: Orbis, 1999.
  • Guess, Deryn, Robert Goss, Mona West and Thomas Bohache (eds). The Queer Bible Commentary. London: SCM, 2006.
  • Hornsby, Teresa J. and Amy-Jill Levine. Sex Texts from the Bible: Selections Annotated and Explained. Woodstock: Skylight, 2007.
  • Hornsby, Teresa J. and Deryn Guest. Transgender, Intersex, and Biblical Interpretation. Atlanta: SBL, 2016.
  • Kirk-Duggan, Cheryl A. (ed). Pregnant Passion: Gender, Sex and Violence in the Bible. Atlanta: SBL, 2003.
  • Kirk-Duggan, Cheryl A. and Tina Pippins (eds). Mother Goose, Mother Jones, Mommie Dearest: Biblical Mothers and Their Children. Atlanta: SBL, 2009.
  • Knust, Jennifer Wright. Unprotected Texts: The Bible’s Surprising Contradictions about Sex and Desire. New York: HarperCollins, 2011.
  • Newsom, Carol A. and Sharon H. Ringe (eds). Women’s Bible Commentary. 3rd Rev & Updated ed. Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2012.
  • Patte, Daniel (ed). Global Bible Commentary. Nashville: Abingdon, 2004.
  • Rashkow, Ilona N. Taboo or not Taboo: Sexuality and Family in the Hebrew Bible. Minneapolis: Fortress, 2000.
  • Streete, Gail P. C. The Strange Woman: Power and Sex in the Bible. Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 1998.
  • Williams, Delores S. Sisters in the Wilderness: The Challenge of Womanist God-talk. Maryknoll: Orbis, 2013.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)

Essay (5,000 words)

0 100.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by John Capper on 1 Nov, 2017

Unit record last updated: 2022-10-27 12:39:13 +1100