What would it mean to queer contemplation? To disentangle contemplative spirituality from heteronormativity, patriarchy, and Eurocentricity, and instead engage with openness, curiosity, and a little weirdness?
The world of contemplative Christianity has yielded to the same voices for far too long, many of whom are from centuries before our time, with lives unlike our own, and often from experiences disconnected from marginalization, oppression, and what it feels like to be an outsider.
Cassidy Hall, an LGBTQIA+ Christian contemplative scholar and podcast host, takes us on a journey to queer the contemplative tradition.For Hall, queering is not solely about identifying as queer or applying queer theory; it is about what is gained by seeing things differently. "Queer," she says, "is the way I tilt my head to look at the world."
As queerness reawakened her own contemplative life, Hall discovered that queering and questioning the tradition allowed her to listen more closely to voices that are queer, marginalized, and oppressed--voices that have long existed but have often been overlooked or silenced. For Hall, that also meant moving differently into contemplation, into silence, into liminality and ritual. In showing us the way, she helps us envision what contemplative faith can look like, what spiritual spaces we can reclaim for welcome--and how queering contemplation, and lifting up queer contemplative voices, frees us to seek the infinite possibility of our own identity and engage our spiritual lives with open hearts and open hands.
Whether you're queer or want to queer your own perspectives, or whether you want to uncover the queerness and queer voices in the contemplative tradition--Hall throws open the doors of contemplative spirituality for all, bringing us to contemplation in very new, sometimes old, but always queer ways.