Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Divinity (MDiv)



First Advisor/Committee Member

Scott Cairns, Ph.D., Professor of English and Director of the M.F.A. in Creative Writing

Second Advisor/Committee Member

Richard Steele, Ph.D., Professor of Moral and Historical Theology


Desire; Erōs (The Greek word); Incarnation; Jesus Christ—Crucifixion; Jesus Christ—Person and offices; Jesus Christ—Resurrection; Orthodox Eastern Church; Queer theology; Salvation—Christianity; Sexual minorities


The field of queer theology has blossomed in recent decades as a fruitful and visionary endeavor, not only for the liberation of LGBTQIA+ persons but also for unearthing deeper truths about what it means to be human beings whose bodies are made in the image of God, and whose deepest yearnings are marked with the form of Christ. Most queer theological accounts, however, emerge from a Western Christian theological tradition. The other “lung” of the undivided Church, that of the Eastern Christian faith, has only begun to make its first forays into queer theology in the past few years. This thesis adds to that small but growing body of work by constructing a queer Eastern Orthodox account of Christology, using the unifying theme of divine-human eros. In so doing, it offers new perspective to challenge anti-queer theological narratives around human desire emerging from the Western theological tradition, while also providing an holistic lens for understanding how queer desire and experience enriches the Eastern Orthodox faith.
Through a combination of patristics, contemporary Greek and Russian Orthodox theologies, western queer theories and theologies, as well as supplementary insights from womanist writings, this thesis examines three key mysteries of the saving work of Christ: incarnation, crucifixion, and resurrection. It considers how Christ infuses the body with his divinity, removes the sting of physical and social death, and empowers all human eros (queer and straight) to image the Kingdom of God. Accounting for these three mysteries in a queer Orthodox way, this thesis lays the foundation for a renewal of human eros in theological thought and practice.

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