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Spirituality and Religions: Part 3 of 3: Dissertation Abstracts
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Bibiography: Papers, articles, and books.
Abstracts: Papers, articles, and books.
Abstracts: Ph.D and Master's Theses

ABSTRACTS: Ph.D & Master's Theses

Berg SL (1989). AA, spiritual issues, and the treatment of lesbian and gay alcoholics. PH.D. Thesis, Michigan State University, DAI, Vol. 50-07A, p. 2121, 220 pages.

Abstract by author: Although Alcoholics Anonymous claims it is spiritual and not-religious, this distinction is blurred because it is a spiritual program based on religious tenets. Lesbians and gay men who have been the victims of church sanctioned hate and persecution are likely to reject the program because of its religious elements. This dissertation first points out the religious elements which are found in AA. It then reviews letters, essays, and articles which have appeared in the lesbian/gay press that demonstrate the four objections which many lesbians and gay men have against the Christian tradition: patriarchy, misuse of scripture, anti-pleasure/anti-love positions, and the conspiracy of silence. The dissertation then traces the American trends toward perfectionism and individualism from the eighteenth- century to the publication of Alcoholics Anonymous in 1939. It argues that because AA was able to incorporate individualism into what was essentially a perfectionist movement in the Christian tradition, the organization is able to work as a program of recovery for Christians and individuals from non-Christian religious traditions, as well as people from no formal tradition. Because it takes time for an individual to appreciate the fundamental truth behind AA's claim that it is spiritual and not religious, seven strategies are proposed which can be used to help lesbians and gay men to successfully integrate AA into their lives.

Publication No.  8923831

Brown ER (1992). "Let my people go": a mission strategy for outreach and ministry within the gay community. D.MIN. Thesis, Fuller Theological Seminary, DAI, Vol. 53-10A, p. 3569, 147 pages.

Abstract by author: Many conservative Christian churches are caught up in a hotly-debated discussion on the issue of homosexuality. The focus of attention on this issue is centered on the question of biblical authority and human sexuality. It is time for the church to suspend her judgments about homosexuals and begin to see gay and lesbian people as valuable in the eyes of God. The gay community is oppressed and suffering, in need of compassion, mercy, understanding, and love. Gay and lesbian people need to experience the love of Jesus Christ and not the condemnation of the church. This paper examines the mission of the church and concludes that its role is to minister to needy and outcast people. There is a section on Liberation Theology which maintains that the church has a responsibility to correct the injustices and hatred that she has perpetrated against gay and lesbian people, an outcast minority group. The church needs to begin to see the gay community as a potential mission field and to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ. The current negative message of the church regarding homosexuality does not will gay and lesbian people to Christ. Quite the contrary. A judgmental, condemning message only serves to further alienate gay people from the church. This paper concludes by designing a strategy for mission that will make the gospel of Jesus Christ relevant to gay and lesbian people. In this way it will enable them to reconcile their sexuality and spirituality in Christ.

Publication No.  9236276

Campbell TJ (1991). Catholic Priests and the pastoral care of homosexuals and homosexual persons with AIDS. PH.D. Thesis, Unites States International University, DAI vol. 52-02A, p. 569, 187 pages.

Abstract by author:

The problem. The central problem of the research was to identify the experiences and beliefs of Catholic priests who counseled homosexuals and homosexual persons with AIDS in their duties as pastoral ministers.

Method. A descriptive-survey design was conducted which utilized a 69 item questionnaire designed by the investigator. Eleven research questions were formulated to explore aspects of the central theme. Survey items examined demographics, experience and attitude. The population of priests of the Los Angeles archdiocese was used and the survey was mailed to all 664 priests under auspices of the archbishop. Questionnaires were completed by 114 respondents, and 110 surveys were analyzed. Results. Statistical evidence suggests that the priests do not feel their seminary education prepared them to counsel homosexuals. Seventy percent sought other forms of instruction after ordination to rectify this situation. Church doctrine provides two recommendations for counseling homosexual individuals, i.e., that they adopt a heterosexual orientation or remain celibate. The priests in the sample tended to recommend some form of celibacy over a heterosexual orientation by a fairly large majority.

Most priests reported that the Church encourages them to minister to homosexuals and homosexual persons with AIDS, but half or better reported that the needs of these populations are met only sometimes. When the priests' attitudes on two scales were analyzed (one measured their liberalism in interpreting Church doctrine while counseling and a second measured their perception of how favorably the Church is predisposed toward homosexuals and homosexual persons with AIDS), the results indicated that two kinds of experience, tenure with the Church and number of persons counseled, affected those attitudes. Both kinds of experience combined did a better job of explaining liberal and conservative attitudes among the respondents than either kind of experience did separately.

Publication No.  9121845

Costtello CL (1993). Religion and A.I.D.S.-related bereavement: a study of partners and family members. PH.D. Thesis, Pacific Graduate School of Psychology, DAI, Vol. 54-06B, p. 3335, 172 pages.

Abstract by author: This research study examined two questions, whether religion or spirituality act as stress-buffers in A.I.D.S. related bereavement and whether the bereavement process itself stimulates a spiritual quest which acts as a stress-buffer. Ninety-five family members and partners were interviewed one and six months after the A.I.D.S. death of their loved one in the San Francisco Bay Area using a questionnaire developed by Nolen-Hoeksema, Parker, and Larson (1992) which combined several measures assessing demographic variables, social support, depressive symptoms (Inventory to Diagnose Depression, Zimmerman, Coryell, Corenthal, & Wilson, 1986), coping strategies (Coping Response Index, Moos, 1988), and acceptance and resolution of loss (adapted from Lehman, Wortman, & Williams, 1987). Religious and Spiritual Rating Scales were devised and pilot-tested from questionnaire data to determine subjects' religiousness and spirituality and then were correlated with coping and depression indices. The analysis of variance yielded statistically significant results indicating that Agnostic subjects did as well with A.I.D.S. related bereavement as Religious subjects (p  < .04) and that both groups were less depressed and coped more effectively than Spiritual subjects (p  < .05; p < .02). Religious and Spiritual subjects who frequently participated in religious or spiritual activities coped better than those who did not. Agnostic Subjects who prayed were more depressed and coped less effectively than those who did not. Results of a chi-square analysis (p < .05) indicated that Religious gay men used their churches to help with bereavement more than Religious family members. A theoretical model of religion and philosophy emerged from the data supporting that a stable and consistent match between one's religious, spiritual, or philosophical beliefs and behaviors provides a stress-buffer for A.I.D.S. related bereavement. The personal development variable (an experience of personal growth due to caring for and losing a loved one to A.I.D.S.) emerged as a possible stress-buffer for A.I.D.S. related bereavement. Implications for clinical, pastoral, and educational applications are discussed.

Publication No.  9324583

Fledderjohann DD (1996). Moral views of freshmen in selected Christian colleges. PH.D. Thesis, Loyola University of Chicago, DAI, Vol. 57-03A, p. 1080, 190 pages.

Abstract by author: Threads of morality are found in every human institution. Families present values and beliefs to their children. Public schools once supported those common values, yet in the last twenty-five years they have shunned the teaching of right and wrong. This void of boundaries has assisted the destructive behavior found in contemporary society. However, Christian schools have continued to teach absolutes and standards of moral behavior based on the Bible. Have their students accepted those standards? Does moral education correspond to the desired outcomes of Christian school administrators? Are the moral standards of Christian school students different from public school students? Do Christian schools teach courses about drugs, sex, and ethics? This research addressed these questions.

Using two survey instruments, one for Christian school principals and the second for freshman students at six Christian colleges scattered across the United States, the data indicated that, generally, students who graduated from Christian schools were accepting and enacting the moral views which they were taught. The research found that the moral views between Christian school graduates and public school graduates was negligible due to the fact that the home environments of both groups were similar. Of the twelve moral areas researched, ten were in the "strongly disagree" category.

Three issues - premarital sex, stealing, and homosexuality - were statistically significant due to the intensity of disagreement. Three of the four religious behaviors between these two groups were found to be statistically significant. Both groups were similar in behavior related to tobacco, alcohol, and drug use, with over 80% who never used tobacco and 78% who never used alcohol. The research found that Christian schools do offer courses in sex education, chemical abuse, and ethics, although the approach was often integrated with other content areas.

Publication No.  9623421

Hodges DH III (1991). Monotheism, responsibility and homosexuality: an application of H. Richard Iebuhr's ethical theory. PH.D. Thesis, The Florida State University, DAI, Vol. 52-08A, p. 2960, 307 pages.

Abstract by author: This dissertation applies H. Richard Niebuhr's ethical theory to homosexual relationships for the benefit of American religious communities and interested others. Chapter 1 argues that the Biblical passages which condemn homosexuality are of limited value because they view homosexuality in terms of rape, prostitution, and pederasty; there is never in mind a mutual, covenanted relationship, which is the subject of current debate. Chapter 2 explicates Niebuhr's theory, particularly the concepts of radical monotheism and human responsibility and its ability to reach specific conclusions on issues of war and sexuality. Chapter 3 analyzes the tradition in Christian ethics rejecting all same-sex relations, criticizing its dualistic understandings of human nature and sex-role stereotyped interpretive and valuational categories. Chapter 4 analyzes gay liberation, criticizing its divorcement of sex from its humanly fitting context and meaning, either undervaluing sex as an act of mere pleasure or overvaluing it as necessary for human fulfillment. Chapter 5 interprets homosexuality and sexual intercourse monotheistically. Sexual attraction stems from the complex matrix of forces beyond individual control which form human selves. Radical monotheism sees all of these as part of the creative activity of God, the "One beyond the many." The personal relationship and social role serve to define the context in which sexual intercourse is humanly fitting: a union of lives (which is both expressed and nurtured by sexual intercourse) into a social unit providing order and stability to the larger community, serving to guide and order the natural human desire for intimacy and sexual expression. Some selves are created so this union must be with a member of the same sex. The most fitting response on the part of the Christian community is to bless and support such homosexual unions, urging as well their legal acceptance by the state.

Publication No.  9202302

Johnston MC (1994) The impact of counselees' sexual orientation and gender on clergy assessment for counseling. Ph.D, Thesis, Boston University, DAI, Vol. 54-05A, p. 1840, 303 pages.

Abstract by author: This research investigated ministers' pastoral assessments of persons who come for counseling and compared these assessments in terms of the counselees' sexual orientation and gender. The sample included 140 ministers from the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), the Presbyterian Church (USA), the Southern Baptist Convention, the United Church of Christ, and the United Methodist Church. The typical respondent was a married, white, heterosexual male with an M.Div. serving a congregation. A clinical analog method was used, providing subjects with one of four case studies, a case study and demographic questionnaire, and the Index of Homophobia. Three research questions resulted in the following findings: ANOVA analyses of pastoral assessments by counselee's sexuality and gender indicated pastoral assessments differed significantly by counselee's sexuality and gender. Ministers working with gay people, compared to ministers working with straight people, focused less on anger and relationship history and more on sexuality and morality. Ministers were less confident of their ability to work with a lesbian or gay counselee than with a straight counselee. Ministers working with a female counselee focused on self-esteem, relationships, and salvation more frequently than ministers working with a male counselee. ANOVA analyses of homophobia by demographic variables indicated that homophobia scores varied in terms of denomination (Baptist higher, United Church lower), minister's sexuality (straight higher), and residence (northeast and midwest lower, southeast and southwest higher). Pearson's r indicated that homophobia varied inversely with courses on homosexuality, inversely with contact with gay persons, and directly with conservatism. ANOVA analyses of homophobia by assessment, regardless of the counselee's sexuality, indicated that high- homophobic ministers focused less on the counselee's affective issues, significant other relationship, and relationship skills, and focused instead on morality issues. Pearson's r indicated that homophobia varied directly with the ministers' assessments of the severity of the counselee's problems. When rating the severity of the client's problems, high-homophobic ministers rated because the counselee is sinful and a moral risk to others, while low-homophobic ministers rated because of the counselee's depression, poor functioning, and suicide risk. The data imply that ministers' education on working with gay persons is inadequate and that high-homophobic ministers are not providing adequate care to persons gay or straight.

Publication No.  9322306

Marcellino EM (1996). Internalized homonegativity, self-concept and images of god in gay and lesbian individuals. PH.D. Thesis, Boston University, DAI, Vol. 57-01A, p. 0273, 323 pages.

Abstract by author: The purpose of this dissertation was to investigate how the self-hatred that is internalized by gay and lesbian individuals because of negative social attitudes toward homosexuality relates to their self-concept and images of God. Psychologists of religion suggest that both self- concepts and images of God are at the core of the personality. Previous research in the field of social stigma indicates that the internalized self-hatred experienced by minorities bears some relation to self- understanding and self-image, often in harmful ways. This dissertation integrates and extends such literature by exploring how internalized self-hatred, as it is experienced by gay and lesbian people, relates to self- concept and images of God. Of the 172 men and women, ages 19 to 61, who Volunteered to participate in this study, 119 belonged to one of six Jewish and Christian, gay and lesbian affirming faith communities (Dignity/Boston, Am Tikva, Metropolitan Community Church, St. John the Evangelist, Church of the Covenant and Arlington Street Church) and 53 claimed no faith affiliation. Participants completed the Multi-Axial Gay/Lesbian Inventory, the Tennessee Self-Concept Scale, Gorsuch's Adjective Ratings of God Scale and a demographic questionnaire which yielded additional data pertaining to the participant's religious background and sexual identity. The instrument scores and demographic data were analyzed to determine relationships among the variables. Results indicate that internalized homonegativity does relate both to images of self and God. The correlational analyses indicate that as internalized homonegativity increased, self-concept decreased. Findings in this study confirm previous research utilizing factor analyses of God images suggesting that God images are rarely uniform; they are multi-valent and often contradictory. More specifically, an increase in internalized homonegativity was correlated with three seemingly contradictory findings: a decrease in God as transcendent and omnipotent, identified by Gorsuch as "Traditional Christian": an increase in factors describing God as "beneVolent", "kind" and "companionable"; and an increase in God as "wrathful" and "powerful but passive". Comparisons between participants belonging to a faith community and those with no faith affiliation demonstrate that those who belong to such a community report lower levels of internalized homonegativity. They also have less positive images of God. No differences were found between groups on self-concept on negative images of God.

Publication No.  9613189

Monaco PB (1996).A history and analysis of certain modern/contemporary Catholic reform movements in North America (Vatican II, Hans Kung, Leonardo Boff). PH.D. Thesis, Temple University, DAI vol. 57-03A, p. 1179, 347 pages.

Abstract by author: One of the many results of Vatican Council II was that lay Catholic organizations originated around particular concerns, both in the United States and Europe. These concerns paralleled the many social movements occurring at that time. In the late 1970s, when several prominent theologians such as Hans Kung and Leonardo Boff were attacked, and in the second case even silenced by the Vatican, reform groups began to organize, both in the United States and Europe, in protest. With the current situation in the American Catholic church of priest shortage and sexual scandal, and a response of silence from the official leadership, many groups are working fervently for reform. As a further development, in 1991 several dozen national grassroots organizations formed a coalition to work together toward change, calling themselves COR (Catholic Organizations for Renewal). A similar phenomenon is also occurring in regions in the U.S. and in Europe.

These groups are centered around such church concerns as the rights of Catholics to greater participation in all aspects and shared decision- making by the laity, women's ordination, a married priesthood, and gay and lesbian rights. This research project is two-fold: in the first part, a history is sketched of the reform movement for the last 150 years, with particular focus on the formation of smaller sub-movements within the Catholic Reform movement; the second part is an analysis of the organizations using COR as a model. The dissertation attempts to answer the following questions: What happens when a collection of relatively small groups, marginalized and powerless, work together for the reform of a very large, strong, powerful formal organization such as the institution of the Roman Catholic church? What are the reform groups doing to try to effect change, and do they believe they are having an impact? How do they go about their work of church reform, and what are the processes?

Publication No.  9623790

Nash JP (1990). Stress, ego identity, and the disclosure of a homosexual orientation among midlife transition male religious professionals in the Roman Catholic Church. PH.D. Thesis, Pacific Graduate School of Psychology, DAI vol. 52-03B, p. 1731, 258 pages.

Abstract by author: This study examined the relationship between life stress, ego identity and disclosure of homosexual orientation within the context of Daniel Levinson's psychosocial theory of adult development in men. The construct of ego identity and disclosure of orientation were conceptualized as variables that moderate the effect of life-change events. The study investigated degree of disclosure of orientation, ego identity level, and perceived life stress to determine the ways in which these measures vary. Several auxiliary variables were also examined: sexual orientation, self-disclosure, locus of control, trait anxiety, social desirability, and attitude toward homosexuals. A stress measure and a disclosure of sexual orientation instrument were developed for use in this study with homosexually oriented Roman Catholic religious professional men.

A significant correlation was demonstrated between ego identity and all other variables indicating its importance. Ego identity was also found to be predictive of disclosure of homosexual orientation; ego identity and disclosure of orientation in combination have moderating influence on stress levels. Disclosure of homosexual orientation to a close friend of similar sexual orientation was substantially higher than disclosure to any other valid target group. This may indicate the uniqueness of close gay/lesbian friends in the disclosure of orientation process. In addition, no statistical difference was found between stress scores of subjects who disclose their orientation only to close gay/lesbian friends, and those who disclose to both close gay/lesbian friends and close straight friends. This may suggest that for homosexually oriented Roman Catholic religious professional men, a life structure that involves disclosure of orientation to a few close gay/lesbian friends may be sufficient, in part, to achieving ego identity and moderating levels of stress. Sample characteristics were reported; because all participants reached a minimum level of orientation disclosure, generalizability of results was limited.

Publication No.  9113976

Peffers BJ (1996).The spiritual experiences of HIV-positive gay men. M.S.W. Thesis, University of Calgary, MAI, Vol. 35-06, p. 1673, 179 pages.

Abstract by author: This is an exploratory study examining the spiritual experiences of HIV positive gay males. A generic qualitative methodology was used in the interviews with seven men who were living with HIV or AIDS. Through semi- structured individual interviews, the researcher explored the spiritual experiences of the participants. Eight major themes were identified in the analysis of the interviews. The themes are: Church, Religion, Society, HIV Experiences, Spirituality, Relationships, Personal Philosophy, and Death. Each of these themes are interdependent and intertwined. Results are discussed, strengths and limitations of the study presented. Implications for social work practice are reviewed and future directions for research suggested.

Publication No.  MM18830

Piedmont O (1996).The veils of Arjuna: androgyny in gay spirituality, east and west. PH.D. Thesis, California Institute for Integral Studies. DAI, Vol. 57-06B, p. 4076, 401 pages.

Abstract by author: The thesis is a hermeneutic phenomenological inquiry into the meaning of gay spirituality in the U.S and India utilizing the symbol of the androgyne as a tool for investigation. Themes of gender transcendence, transformation, healing, psychic equilibrium, and embodied spirituality emerge in a cross-cultural analysis of religious symbols and myths of androgyny between Indian Hinduism and American gay culture. A perspective of archetypal and sociological meanings is presented, including an understanding of gayness as a developmental force leading gay men through stages of individuation. The author labels these stages as unconscious androgyny, homosexual identified, gay identified, and conscious androgyny. Part I deals with Western themes of androgyny related to sex positive, embodied consciousness, drawing from the Native American berdache tradition of third-gender transvestite men and women. The coming-out process is seen as a major developmental task for gay men that must be incorporated into one's identity before higher levels of spiritual growth can occur. The spiritual significance of drag and community space is analyzed. Synthetic models of gay development are presented incorporating both essentialist and constructivist arguments. Part II presents Eastern themes of androgyny connected to homosexuality as found in Hindu literature and rituals in India. References to classical Hindu literature, including the Kama Sutra, the Mahabharata and the Ramayana, reveal a historically positive attitude toward homosexuality and gender diversity. Description is given to a mythology of androgynous gods, including Ardhanarisvara, Siva-Sakti, Harihara, and Visnu/Mohini, relevant to the gay psyche. Specific reference to Skanda as the god of homosexuals is given. Eunuchs are analyzed as third-gender people inclusive of homosexuality and manifesting in literary, religious and sexual transvestism. Contemporary attitudes in India toward homosexuality reflect an emerging ambivalence characterized by both homophobia and open displays of same-sex eroticism. Particular attention is paid to the institution of same-sex friendships, yaari, and its high value of meaning for Indian men. The study ends with a synthesis of Eastern and Western perspectives into an energy (chakra) system incorporating images and symbols of relevance to gay ontology and spiritual development.

Publication No.  9633907

Primiano LN (1993). Intrinsically Catholic: vernacular religion and Philadelphia's Dignity. PH.D. Thesis, University of Pennsylvania, DAI vol. 54-06A, p. 2186, 537 pages.

Abstract by author: The fact of the negative attitude of the Roman Catholic Church toward the genital expression of homosexuality has not stopped some gay Catholic believers from thinking of themselves as members of the Church while continuing a choice of active sexual lifestyle which the institution condemns. While there are many gay and lesbian Roman Catholics who belong solely to traditional parishes, a number of Catholic men and women have banded together to form an organization called "Dignity" which is composed of independent regional congregations throughout the United States and Canada.

These North American religious base communities are supportive of gay and lesbian sexuality, and, further, affirm it as a spiritual value. These communities fulfill for their members a need for worship and social activity within a context of the Catholic tradition. Focusing on the Philadelphia branch of Dignity, this dissertation tells the story of this complex congregation by exploring the religious lives of a number of its members during the years 1986-1987, the time before and after the promulgation by the Vatican of a letter to its bishops condemning gay sexual activity, and referring to the orientation itself as intrinsically evil. These individuals are a mirror of the changes in thinking among many American Catholics as they have balanced the values of the pre-conciliar Church with the spiritual freedoms that they perceived were supported by the Second Vatican Council.

The dissertation chronicles the beliefs and practices of the men and women who struggled to maintain the existence of this congregation during this period and examines the reasons for the continued involvement by these homosexual American Catholics in religion in general, and with such an antagonistic religious institution in particular. The study of this Dignity congregation has generated a new perspective which underscores the vitality of lived religion and the insufficiency of the conventional terminology of "sectarian," "folk," "popular," or even "official," religion. In response, I offer the term "vernacular religion" which is explained and assessed as a new approach in the search for the understanding of any given community of believers and their various categories of religious belief.

The relation of the study of vernacular religion to this urban Catholic congregation is discussed through an examination of the following issues: its history and developments, the negotiated beliefs of its members, their formation of a personal sexual theology, the dynamic between male and female members, and their reactions to the institutional Church.

Publication No.  9331830

Smith RL (1993). AIDS, the gay community, and the American Catholic Church. PH.D. Thesis, Graduate Theological Union, DAI vol. 54-03A, p. 960, 278 pages.

Abstract by author: The construction of AIDS by the American Catholic bishops has been problematic for many Americans, activists and public health officials alike. The American bishops, while calling for a greater compassion and justice for people living with AIDS, have used this epidemic as an occasion to shore up a sexual ethic that is increasingly difficult for many American Catholics to accept. In so doing, they have set themselves at odds with what has become a legitimate and significant culture in the United States over the last few decades, namely, the gay community which has come to play such a pivotal role in the larger American discourse on AIDS.

Indeed, the interaction between the bishops and the gay community has often revealed what John Courtney Murray once called "the structure of war", a matter of political maneuvers and clashing interests rather than genuine listening and respectful dialogue. This structure of war must give way to the structure of an orderly conversation. The bishops, from their side, must be willing to listen genuinely to the collective wisdom acquired by the gay community, even despite that community's difference of opinion regarding certain Catholic moral teachings. At the same time, gay leaders must be willing to let go of anti-Catholic bigotry and stereotypes and acknowledge the valuable contribution that Catholicism can offer the American discourse on AIDS, particularly its rich traditions regarding human community, social justice, and the meaning of human suffering.

Central to this renewed conversation can be a significant number of Catholic AIDS ministers who are able to provide an important link between the gay community and the hierarchy by articulating the experiences of gay people with AIDS in traditionally Catholic terms. Central to it also must be the recognition by both communities of a larger American conspiracy, a larger moral universe capable of holding us all - with our diversity of unique cultures, our diverse values and symbols, and our varied ways of living and loving.

Publication No.  9322132

Tew MA (1996). Organizational mediation of gay Catholic identity and social schism: an ethnographic analysis of Dignity/USA. PH.D. Thesis, Wayne State University, DAI vol. 57-04A, p. 1393, 209 pages.

Abstract by author: The Roman Catholic church maintains a doctrinally opposed position to homosexuality. For individuals who self-identify as both gay and Catholic, the demands of the self and of the Catholic church are incompatible. The reviewed literature reports that many gay Catholics experience frustration, conflict, and trauma in their efforts to integrate sexual and spiritual identities. Numerous religious organizations for gay people have emerged. Dignity is recognized as an organization which ministers to gay and lesbian Catholics.

Thurston TM (1989). Homosexuality and contemporary Roman Catholic ethical discussion. PH.D. Thesis, Graduate Theological Union, DAI, vol. 50-07A, p. 2119, 349 pages.

Abstract by author: Current Roman Catholic reflection on homosexuality may be divided into three basic positions: the traditional position, reflected in recent Vatican documents; the mediating position, best articulated by Charles Curran and Philip Keane; and the revisionist position, developed by John McNeill. The traditional position has its roots in a Stoic-Augustinian-Thomistic synthesis, which emphasized the procreative function of sex, and a personalist tradition, which saw the importance of sex as an expression of love. The mediating position does not challenge the basic theology of the traditional position, but tries to find a basis for pastoral accommodation for homosexual individuals. Philosophically, McNeill's revisionist position relies on what he sees as a more contemporary understanding of the person, as self-creating subject. The revisionists have evoked a reevaluation of the biblical material on homosexuality. Attention to technical biblical scholarship sheds additional light on these passages. While the relevance of the Old Testament passages to the contemporary discussion is quite doubtful, the New Testament passages do condemn homosexual acts. One must ask what the authority of these passages is today. The use of the social sciences in the ethical discussion has focused on the psychiatric understanding of homosexuality. A thorough study of what the broad range of social sciences have to say about homosexuality shows that the former perspective is quite narrow. More productive and more scientific approaches are available. In evaluating the three positions, one sees that the traditional position cannot discuss whether position needs to be reevaluated in the light of new experience. The mediating position will not allow its pastoral accommodations to challenge its basic theology. The revisionist position tries to project the new situation back into history, and tries to resolve the issue through a strained exegesis. In order to resolve the impasse in the contemporary discussion on homosexuality, one must look upon the present situation of homosexuals as really new. The gay liberation movement forms the context for theological reflection. Segundo's methodology allows gay Christians to theologize from their own experience, speaking of sexual ethics under the virtues of aphrodisia, agape and philia.

Publication No.  8924372

Toman JA (1997). Dual identity: being Catholic and being gay. PH.D. Thesis, Cleveland State University, DAI vol. 58-05A, Page 1942, 141 pages.

Abstract by author: The aim of this research was to utilize survey methods to investigate the relationship between two important personal identity markers, one's religiosity and one's sexual orientation, and to examine these variables at two points in the life span, retrospectively during youth and concurrently in adulthood. Specifically, the study involved adult males raised in the Catholic tradition and the process of their homosexual identity formation. This research sought to determine if significant relationships exist between: (1) the strength of youthful religious conviction and difficulty experienced during the adolescent coming-out process; (2) formative religious conviction and later ability to achieve an adult gay-affirmative life style; (3) religious conviction in the formative and adult years; (4) the difficulty of coming-out and subsequent adult religious conviction; (5) the difficulty of coming-out and adult capacity to experience a gay-affirmative life style; and (6) adult religious conviction and capacity for a gay- affirmative life style. The 70 respondents in the study were voluntary and their survey responses anonymous. They were recruited either by contact from professionals who work with individuals in the gay community or through advertisements in the gay community and in the gay-oriented media.

Analysis of responses utilized quantitative procedures, but respondents also provided narrative answers which added explanatory detail and enriched and clarified the findings and conclusions. The findings from this study suggest that: (a) a significant statistical relationship exists between adolescent religiosity and difficulties encountered in the adolescent coming-out process, and also between adolescent and adult religiosity; and (b) no statistically significant relationship exists between adolescent religiosity and difficulties experienced in achieving a affirmative adult gay life style, between adolescent and adult sexual identity processes, nor between the adolescent coming-out process and adult religiosity. This study further suggests that the interplay of religious and sexual identity factors is a complex one. The data it offers may serve to illuminate for those who work with the gay population some of the important issues through which gay clients must navigate, and to suggest to researchers in the field of religious and sexual orientation identity formation useful directions which further research might take.

Publication No.  9732759

Youngdahl P (1996). Subversive devotions: toward a wholehearted practice of christian faith. PH.D. Thesis, The University of Arizona, DAI, Vol. 57-04A, p. 1696, 155 pages.

Abstract by author: Writing this dissertation, I opened a sanctuary in which to practice the devotions of my feminist, lesbian, Christian life. It has turned out to be a healing work. There are some who advise me that "healing" has no place in academic classrooms and compositions, but I learn, teach, and write as if it belongs. This writing grew out of my fifteen years as a Presbyterian minister seeking to resist the promotion of male supremacy and the condemnation of lesbian, gay, and bisexual existence which interweave in prevailing, patriarchal practices of Christianity. I tell how my subversion of these dynamics of domination was furthered as I came to understand Christian traditions, including the Bible, from the perspective of rhetoric. I demonstrate that one way to support the interpretive authority of marginalized believers is to see Christian faith as an ongoing argument in which the meanings of key terms such as "God," "love," and "Jesus" are continually being negotiated. I urge people to decide among contending practices of Christianity based on how well each would be likely to bless us, with who counts as part of the "us" being key to the deliberations. I propose that defecting from the rituals of domination and submission celebrated in most churches can empower us in the struggle for racial, sexual, cultural, economic, and ecological justice. At the center of this project are the devotions through which I have rewritten my relationship with Christian traditions. In composing them, I fell into listening more freely to the fears, angers, griefs, and desires of my heart. Experimenting for three years with strategies of appropriation, faithful repudiation, and revision, I eventually turned my "mis"hearings and "mis"readings of patriarchal faith into an alternative, wholehearted practice of being Christian, a practice which encourages me to love the world, including my life, with increasing pleasure and power. I offer this work as a participation in the movement of mujerista/womanist/feminist believers who choose to pursue their vocation of love and justice by reinventing "the" faith.

Publication No.  9626527

  The development of these GLBT information web pages were made possible through the collaboration of Richard Ramsay (Professor, Faculty of Social Work, University of Calgary) and Pierre Tremblay (independent researcher, writer, and GLBT children and youth advocate) who both recognize that often needed social changes occur as the result of knowledge availability and dissemination. Additional Information at: Warning, Acknowledgments, Authors.

These GLBTQ Info-Pages were located at the University of Southampton from 2000 to 2003, this being the result of a collaboration with Dr. Chris Bagley, Department of Social Work Studies, University of Southampton.

Graphics are compliments of Websight West. The Synergy Centre donated computer/Internet time to facilitate the construction of this GLBT information site. Both are owned by a Chris Hooymans, a friend, and former publisher of a gay & lesbian magazine in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Chris continues to offer his expertise whenever needed and he has supplied, free of charge, the hosting of the site - Youth Suicide Problems: A Gay / Bisexual Male Focus - where a smaller - GLBTQ Education Section - and the Internet Resource Page for this subject ( is located.

Computer time was also supplied by Rick Reist & Glenn Lynas, and Glenn also supplied other forms of assistance.

Many thanks to Wendy Stephens from The Department of Communications Media, University of Calgary.  She communicated with publishers of many academic journals (an ongoing time-consuming process) for permission to reproduce abstracts from papers and studies on these GLBT information web pages.


The information made available on this web page does not represent all the relevant information available on the Internet, nor in professional journals and in other publications.

This web page was constructed to supply a spectrum of information for individuals seeking to understand one or more of the many gay, lesbian, bisexual, queer and transgender issues. Additional Information at: Warning, Acknowledgments, Authors.

Acquiring/Accessing PhD/Master's Theses

The cited "Publication No." corresponds to the one given in UMI: Dissertation Abstract Online database accessible via universities and other institutions. If acquiring / accessing the document is desired and you do not have access to UMI, supply the basic information found herein, including the "Publication No." to your local librarian. She/he will then advise you with respect to the availability of the document(s) and the cost. Recently, UMI: Dissertation Abstract Online became ProQuest Digital Dissertation at - - which has both digital and hard copy versions of dissertations for sale.

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