Megan DeFranza is Wild Goose bound

My friend, really smart lady, and theological pioneer Megan DeFranza is headed to the Wild Goose Festival with a number of us from the North Shore of Boston. She is offering a workshop, which is unique, challenging to our simple categories of life, and bold.

Megan is presenting this workshop with Lianne Simon. Below is a description of the workshop and a rough draft of the preface to Megan’s upcoming book. Difficult subject, and one I believe we should openly discuss. How the church treats the “intersexed” is critical to who/what the church is in society. We have learned from Jesus that “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” The least can be those who are forgotten, an immensely small minority, or so many other categories of leastness (making up words here). This topic presents an unconsidered minority in the church. Megan and Lianne are helping us to consider them. Blessings on their work. Have some thoughts on this? Let’s enter into dialogue.

The workshop at the Wild Goose Festival (second weekend of August 2013 in Hot Springs, NC).

When Male and Female is Not Enough:
Welcoming the Intersexed Among Us

Lianne Simon is a Christian, a housewife, and an author. She also has a rare genetic disorder that left her with a sexually ambiguous body and a failed puberty. If our chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever, how does a child whose sex isn’t clear find their place in the Kingdom? Lianne believes that God has called her to vulnerability and open dependence on Jesus Christ as a starting point for sharing with the church about intersex. She is the author of Confessions of a Teenage Hermaphrodite, a deeply emotional look at growing up between the sexes. Her website is at http://www.liannesimon.com.

Megan K. DeFranza is a theologian and student of sex difference, gender, and sexuality. In addition to parenting her two daughters with her beloved Andrew and teaching part-time at Gordon College (Wenham, MA), she is making final revisions to her first book Sex Difference in Christian Theology: Male, Female, and Intersex in the Image of God (forthcoming with Eerdmans). She is working to raise awareness about intersex particularly in conservative Christian contexts where any deviation from “Adam” and “Eve” is often believed to be a result of sin and requiring medical “correction.”

Proposed Discussion:

Lianne – introduces intersex as a medical phenomenon and describes several of the most common conditions.
Lianne – shares her experience of life as an intersex Christian.
Megan shares her story of learning about intersex. She began her study in hopes of coming to a better understanding sex difference for men and women but now also works to bring education about intersexed particularly to conservative Christian communities. Megan will offer a brief theological reading of Adam and Eve as progenitors rather than paradigms and introduce the biblical category of the eunuch (Mt. 19, Isaiah 56, Acts 8) as a third space giving us permission and encouragement to make new space in our own communities.

Open for dialogue with audience.

Megan’s First draft preface to upcoming book:

The following is my first draft of a preface to my new book, Sex Difference in Christian Theology: Male, Female, and Intersex in the Image of God  (forthcoming with Eerdmans). I’m slaving away at revisions over the new few months, taking the depth of my doctoral dissertation and repackaging it for a broader audience. Does this make you want to read more?

For love and faith and sex and fear
and all the things that keep us here
in the mysterious distance
between a man and a woman
U2*

How do we measure the distance between a man and a woman? How different are men and women? What about those whose bodies and lives tend to bridge and blur the very distance of difference? How much does it matter at the end of the day? These are just some of the questions that have dogged me for almost two decades now, despite my many attempts to outrun them. continue reading more…

Got some thoughts? Got some questions?

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