Religion, Gender and Sexuality

Please note: this is archived course information from 2023 for THEOREL 311.


This course will introduce students to current issues and debates surrounding gender and sexuality as they are expressed within religious theologies, texts and communities. Drawing on contemporary gender theories, students will consider the different meanings and significances of the terms gender and sexuality and the various ways that these are understood within religious traditions.

While the historical development of these meanings and significances will be explored, particular attention will be paid to contemporary religious understandings of gender and sexuality, and the current debates and discussions about these issues within religious communities, teachings, and texts, as well as in secular politics, the media and popular culture.

Topics covered will include: femininst and queer theories in religious studies; gender violence in sacred texts; purity and gender; queer sexualities and religion; gender roles in religious communities; intersections of gender and ethnicity in religion and popular culture; and religious responses to the HIV/AIDS crisis.

Learning objectives

By the end of the course, students will:

  • Have developed an understanding of the concepts of gender and sexuality and some of the ways that these concepts are articulated and understood within a number of religious traditions, texts and communities
  • Be aware of the historical development of beliefs and theologies surrounding gender and sexuality within a number of religious traditions, texts and communities
  • Be able to have an informed discussion about some contemporary issues surrounding gender and sexuality within religious traditions, texts and communities, particularly any debates or controversies surrounding these issues
  • Show a knowledge of and ability to engage critically with different methodological approaches to researching gender and sexuality within religious studies
  • Become familiar with some of the scholarly literature written about gender, sexuality and religion by local, national and international scholars
  • Have been shown some of the skills required in academic writing and guided through the process of composing an engaging, well-written and well-argued essay


Coursework only

For full course information see the Digital Course Outline for THEOREL 311.

Digital Course Outlines are refreshed in November for the following year. Digital Course Outlines for courses to be offered for the first time may be published slightly later.

Availability 2023

Not taught in 2023




THEOREL 311: 15 points


30 points at Stage II from the BA Schedule