Retrospect: Queering my Religion

First project supported within the framework of the alumni*ae programme.

As part of its work with former participants, DialoguePerspectives offers intellectual and financial support for alumni*ae projects and initiatives. We support projects that deal with topics relevant to our work and which pursue impulses and lines of thought developed within our seminars.

Last weekend, the first project supported in this framework took place in Munich. The following provides a review of the event.

Queering my Religion – Interreligious Conference in Munich

On 23 October 2021, the queer Catholic initiative Homo-Cusanus organised a conference on Queering my Religion – Sexual Identities in Interreligious Perspectives together with the Munich Volkshochschule. In lectures, panels, and workshops, around 45 participants and speakers discussed sexual and gender diversity in the Abrahamic religions.

‘Putting LGBT* issues at the centre of interreligious dialogue is a great enrichment. As queer people, we are connected by many common experiences across religious boundaries.’ This is how Thomas Spinrath, DialoguePerspectives participant and co-organiser of the conference, explains the motivation of the organising team. ‘We were all the more pleased to be supported by the Dialogueperspectives programme,’ he continued. The conference was the first external project funded by the programme DialoguePerspectives. Discussing Religions and Worldviews.

The varied programme points highlighted not only the diversity of Jewish, Muslim, and Christian perspectives, but also the diversity of topics within the LGBT spectrum. There were workshops on topics such as ‘Queer feminism and religion’ and ‘Religious trans* perspectives’. The different formats created a space for an appreciative exchange. ‘The participants created such a pleasant atmosphere and the conversations created so much space for openness, vulnerability, and genuine benevolent discourse – I felt like I was sitting with friends at my kitchen table,’ wrote Nicoleta Mena, co-chair of Keshet Germany and speaker at the conference, on social media the day after the event. In addition, Marco Linguri from the Liberal-Islamic Federation, the trans* activist Julia Monro, and the Charité psychiatrist Dr. Lieselotte Mahler were among the speakers at the conference.

The stimulating exchange motivated many of the participants to continue networking and forge new collaborations. The first new ideas for joint interreligious projects have already emerged.

©Alescha Birkenholz/MVHS

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˝The programme makes possible something that is all too rare in our society these days: speaking and having discussions across borders, not about each other, but with each other. That can be a hard slog at times, but at the same time the format makes space for follow-up questions and deeper conversations that are only possible through trust on all sides.

Felix, DialoguePerspectives alumnus

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