As one way to combat the exclusion and erasure of diverse bodies from conversations in church, academy, and society, Inclusive and Affirming Ministries (IAM) and the Ujamaa Centre in the School of Religion, Philosophy and Classics at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) started the process in 2020 of developing a series of Contextual Bible Study (CBS) processes to contest the conservative readings of the Bible that are often life-denying towards Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Intersex and Queer (LGBTIQ+) people.
Davis Mac-Iyalla, the Executive Director of the Interfaith Diversity Network of West Africa (IDNOWA), reflects on how recent anti-LGBTIQ+ sentiment in Ghana impacted IDNOWA’s participation in IAM’s regional partner monitoring, evaluation and learning convening.
IAM and UKZN’s recently hosted Queer Clergy Think Tank brought together queer clergy, traditional healers, allies and students to co-create a space where the LGBTIQ+ community could find a space of renewal.
IAM has created a new resource, “The Bible and Homosexuality: A Toolkit.” The publication was officially launched 30 Sept 2021, with panellists and participants invited to contribute to the continual review and co-creation of the resource.
IAM’s Michelle Boonzaaier reflects on the need for rest and reflection to keep our activism work moving forward, and how IAM is building those principles into our work in South Africa and across the continent.
From 2018-2020, IAM took part in the Schools Out project looking at the role of faith and religion in comprehensive sexuality education across seven countries in Africa. In “Amplifying teachers’ voices for inclusive education,” we spoke with 16 high school teachers in four countries to better understand their perspectives on teaching and supporting CSE in their contexts.
From 2018-2020, IAM took part in the Schools Out project looking at the role of faith and religion in comprehensive sexuality education across seven countries in Africa. In “Reflections on religion, faith and comprehensive sexuality education,” we spoke with our local partners to understand their experiences implementing the project.
IAM’s Hanzline R. Davids looks at the recent Constitutional Court ruling that found Jon Qwelane guilty of hate speech, what it means for the wider faith community, and how we can alter our language in faith spaces to create more life-affirming communities.
Earlier this year, IAM partnered with the Faculty of Theology at the University of Stellenbosch to host the annual Human Sexuality and Gender Diversity workshop for students in the Masters of Divinity programme. Several participants and faculty share here their reflections on the workshop.
IAM invited a variety of youth to contribute their reflections on this Youth Day 2020. We encouraged them to reflect on Pride, the protests (internationally and nationally) and how the LGBTIQ+ and faith communities should be thinking about all of these interrelated issues. It is through joining our voices that we draw strength and meaning.
IAM’s Ecclesia de Lange reflects on the “reopening” of places of worship, and how this new-found awareness that spiritual leaders have of the pain of being isolated and unable to seek solace in their churches might translate into a deeper understanding of the pain experienced by the LGBTIQ+ people of faith.