Reading List: Queer Theology in the Academy and in the Church

Queer Theology Reading List

General Introduction

Radical Love: An Introduction to Queer Theology, by Patrick Cheng

The Courage to be Queer, by Jeff Hood

The Oxford Handbook of Theology, Sexuality, and Gender, ed. By Adrian Thatcher

Solus Jesus: A Theology of Resistance, by Emily Swann and Ken Wilson

Indecent Theology, by Marcella Althaus-Reid


Queer theology, Queer Identity, and Churches

Queer Theology: Beyond Apologetics, by Linn Marie Tonstad

Queer Christianities: Lived Religions in Transgressive Forms, by Talvacchia, Pettinger, and Larrimore

Rainbow Theology: Bridging Race, Sexuality, and Spirit, by Patrick Cheng

From Sin to Amazing Grace: Discovering the Queer Christ, by Patrick Cheng

Outside the Lines: How Embracing Queerness Will Transform Your Faith, by Mihee Kim-Kort

God and Difference: The Trinity, Sexuality, and the Transformation of Finitude, by Linn Marie Tonstad

This is My Body: Hearing the Theology of Transgender Christians: by Christian Beardsley and Michelle Esther O’Brian

Sex and Uncertainty: Intersex Conditions and Christian Theology, by Susannah Cornwall


Queer theology from the margins

Representations of Homosexuality: Black Liberation Theology, by R. Sneed

Our Lives Matter: A Womanist Queer Theology, by Pamela Lightsey

Living Out Sexuality and Faith: Body Admissions of Malaysian Gay and Bisexual Men, by Joseph N. Goh

A Queering of Black Theology: James Baldwins Blues Project and Gospel Prose, by El. Kornegay Jr.

Kenyan, Christian, Queer: Religion, LGBT Activism, and the Arts, by: Adriaan van Klinken

Their Own Receive Them Not: African American Lesbians and Gays in Black Churches, by: Horace L. Griffin

One Coin Found: How Gods Love Stretches to the Margins, by Emmy Kegler


Queer Histories and Ethics

The Invention of Sodomy, by Mark Jordan

The Ethics of Sex, by Mark Jordan

Queer Theology: Rethinking the Western Body: Gerard Loughlin

Queering Richard Rolle: Mystical Theology and the Hermit in Fourteenth Century England, by Christopher M. Roman

Un/Familiar Theology: Reconceiving Sex, Reproduction, and Generativity, by Susannah Cornwall

Unnatural: Spiritual Resiliency in Queer Christian Women, by Rachel Murr

Just Love: A Framework for Christian Sexual Ethics, by Margaret Farley

How to Use the Library of Congress Classification System

The Duke University Libraries, like most academic libraries, use the Library of Congress Classification System (LC) to organize our shelves. This is different from most public and K-12 libraries who tend to use the Dewey Decimal System as their system of classification. Dewey works well for smaller libraries, but LC allows for much more specific and diverse cataloguing and is ideal for large multidisciplinary library systems.

LC is great because it groups books together by topic, so if you go to find a book, you might discover a bunch of other books even more relevant to your research! (This is called “serendipitous browsing”…)

However, LC can also be a pain to navigate and is not always logical. This guide is meant as a quick introduction to LC and, specifically, the call numbers of books.

The call number is the number by which books are organized. When you browse the catalog, it will give you the title and author of a book, but then it will show which library you can find a book in, and the book’s call number. This number is also on the spine of the physical book.

In this example, this book is in the stacks at the Divinity School Library, it is available, and the call number is: BS1197 .C56 2006

On the back of your book, your call number will look like this:


The first two lines are related to the subject matter of the book.
The third line is often (but not always) related to the author’s last name. This book’s author is Michael D. Coogan, so the “C” here makes sense.
The last line is the date of publication.

What most people find confusing about LC is often the numbers after the first letters of the call number. Here are some tips on how to read each line.

BS (Read the first line in alphabetical order.)

1197 (Read the second line as a whole number.)

.C56 (Read the letter alphabetically, but the number as a decimal: e.g., .C56 would come before .C57 but after .C471)

2006 (Read the year in chronological order.)


The image below is very helpful and gives some more examples illustrating how to read the numbers. [1]

The initial letters in the call numbers do not have a logical sequence, but a lot of Divinity related books are under B. For instance, Biblical Studies are under BS, Church History is under BR, and Christian Denominations are under BX. This image shows the call numbers which are housed in the Divinity Library:

Here is a link to the subdivisions of BS:

Here is a link to a map of where those groups are placed in the Divinity library:



Duke Divinity School Library joins Atla Reciprocal Borrowing program

Duke Divinity School Library now participates in the Atla Reciprocal Borrowing program, which includes theological libraries across North America! This means that students at Duke Divinity School can set up accounts to check out books at participating libraries nationwide. Similarly, Duke Divinity School Library now caters to patrons whose home library is a part of the Atla network.

Here is a map and a spreadsheet of participating libraries.

Duke Divinity Students: Use the map or spreadsheet to find an Atla member library near you. Note that the spreadsheet includes basic borrowing rules for each institution (number of books you may check out, etc.) as well as the contact information for a librarian at that school. You will need to contact the librarian listed on the spreadsheet in order to learn their process for setting up an Atla borrower account, and you will need to provide them with proof that you are a current Duke Divinity student.

Visitors to Duke Divinity School: If you come to the Divinity Library as a current student at an Atla-affiliated institution, please contact a member of the circulation staff and we can create a local user profile with a specific Atla check-out card. Please bring a school ID and proof of current enrollment with you on your first visit.

Atla users at Duke can: 
+ Benefit from the Divinity Library’s on-site collection of 250,000 volumes
+ Check out up to ten (10) books at one time
+ Have a 4-week lending period
+ Renew one (1) time
+ Check out onsite circulating books from the Divinity School Library only
+ Make use of the Divinity Library’s Reference Room
+ Make use of the in-building scanners

Atla users at Duke cannot: 
+ Check out books from other Duke libraries
+ Request scan and deliver
+ Check out more than 10 books
+ Check out items from reference, reserve, or special collections, or journals/periodicals
+ Make use of Inter-library Loans, TRLN, or BorrowDirect.

The Divinity Library collection is predominantly in the subject areas of biblical studies and doctrinal and practical Christian theology, as well as history of Christianity and Christian denominations, with smaller collections in other religions and philosophy. We have a robust collection on the history and theology of the Wesleys and Methodist/Wesleyan churches and movements. 

Summer Divinity Library Services

Summer Hours: Monday – Thursday, 9am-4pm (Library Staff works remotely on Fridays)

Building Access: Duke University will remain closed in the summer of 2021 to alumni, visitors, and affiliates. Faculty and staff have building access with their Duke IDs based on their use of the SymMon app. Student access to academic buildings has been deactivated until campus re-opens for the Fall 2021 semester. Only students in Duke’s summer surveillance testing pool will have access to the Divinity building. Students in the surveillance testing pool do not need to make a reservation to visit the Divinity Library — just sign in at the front desk when you arrive.

Library Take-out: You may request books by selecting the green Request button in the online library catalog. You will be notified by email when your book is available. If you select the Divinity Library as your pickup location, you may come to campus any time the library is open (Mon-Thurs, 9am-4pm) for your books. When you arrive, call our front desk (919-660-3450) and let us know which entrance you’re at. (We recommend Telcom Circle!) Library staff will meet you with your books. You do not need to make a reservation to use Divinity Library Take-out.

Scanning Requests: You can initiate a scanning request by selecting the green Request button in the online library catalog, then selecting “Scanning Request.” This will take you to the Document Delivery New Request form, where you can fill in the chapter title(s) and/or pages you would like scanned. You will get an email notification when your scan is ready for you.

Interested in working at the Divinity Library? If you are in town this summer and have a work study award, consider working at the Divinity Library! Contact Lacey Hudspeth ( for details. Student workers will also have to be part of the surveillance testing program.

Note to Undergraduate Patrons, March 14-21, 2021

Dear Undergraduate Patrons,

By now you have all received communication from Duke about the stay-in-place order in effect March 14 to March 21. Although the Divinity Library will be open this week for graduate students, staff, and faculty, these measures unfortunately mean that undergraduates will not have access to Duke Libraries, including the Divinity Library, until restrictions are lifted.

Here are some quick notes about how you will be able to access Divinity Library resources during this period:

  • Scanning Requests ⊕ Available
    • Place these requests through the online library catalog using the green “Request” button
  • Ask a Librarian ⊕ Available
    • Email us with the form linked above, or you can call us with questions: 919-660-3450, Mon-Fri, 8am-5pm
  • Seat Reservations ⊗ Not Available
  • Divinity Building Access ⊗ Not Available
  • Divinity lockers ⊗ Not Available
  • Library Take-out ⊗ Not Available
    • You may still request Divinity books through the online library catalog, but you will not be able to make a library take-out appointment or use a Divinity locker until March 22.

The Divinity Library will remain open this week for graduate students, staff, and faculty. We look forward to welcoming undergraduate students back into our spaces after these restrictions have lifted.

Stay safe and stay well,

The Divinity Library Staff

Divinity Library Take-out: Curbside Edition (December 1-17)

The Divinity Library will open again for onsite reservations in January.

Duke faculty, staff, and students may still request books for Library Take-out through the online catalog. During the month of December, all books requested for pickup at the Divinity Library will be available curbside, at Telcom Circle, behind the downstairs entrance to the Divinity School’s Westbrook Building. (This is where you picked up your cloth face masks at the beginning of the Fall 2020 Semester!) You may also return books at Telcom Circle during Library Take-out hours (look for the book cart).

Important Dates and Data:

  • Divinity Library Take-out will be available December 1-17 (Tues., Weds., and Thurs. only, from 11am to 3pm)
  • When your requested book(s) are available, you will receive an email with additional instructions about picking them up at Telcom Circle.
  • Driving directions to Telcom Circle  (Google Maps)
    • December 8: Last day to request a book from any other Duke Library (LSC, Perkins, Lilly, etc.) — requests made after this date will be processed in January.
    • December 11: Last day to make a scanning request through the library catalog — requests made after this date will be processed in January.
    • December 16: Last day to request a book from the Divinity Library for pickup at Divinity — requests made after this date will be processed in January.
    • December 17: Last day to pick up books at Divinity — requests made after this date will be processed in January.

Read more about the main university libraries’ plans for December, including hours and services.

Voting Information and Resources

Visit Duke Votes for more information.

Early voting for the 2020 General Election starts Thursday, October 15, and will be open until Saturday, October 31.

Durham County voters may choose to cast their ballot at any of the county’s 14 early voting sites, including one on Duke University’s campus: the Karsh Alumni Center (2080 Duke University Rd, Durham, NC 27708). Voting will take place in the main conference room.

Directions to the Karsh Alumni Center (Google Maps)

Hours for early voting: Monday – Saturday, 8am-7:30pm, Sunday 2pm-7:30pm; Saturday, Oct. 31, 8am-3pm

Find other early voting sites with the Durham County Early Voting Site Locator — includes bus routes and wait times!

Not sure if you’re registered to vote in NC? Verify your voter registration status

Need to register to vote in NC? The deadline to register to vote in NC was October 9. But, you can still register and vote at any of Durham’s early voting sites. See Durham County’s Notice to Same-Day Registrants for more information.

Prefer to vote by mail in NC?  Request your absentee ballot here. If you did not register to vote in NC before the Oct. 9 deadline, you may still register at one of the early voting sites. If you request an absentee ballot and want to drop it off in person, you may do so at an early voting site from Oct. 15-31, but not on Election Day (Nov. 3). See more FAQ for voting by mail/absentee voting in North Carolina.

Voting in your home state? Visit Duke Votes for information on registering to vote in your home state, voting in person, requesting an absentee ballot, and more.

Visit Duke Votes for more information.


Technology: Printing, Scanning, and Online/Off-site access to Library resources

This page gathers all of the policies we have at the Divinity School Library this semester for technology resources. We will cover Duke’s Virtual Private Network, software available through Duke, ePrint/on-campus printers, self-checkout, and public computers and scanners.

Duke’s Virtual Private Network (VPN)

Most library resources are available from off-campus through the EZProxy service—no VPN connection is necessary–all you need to do is log in with your Duke NetID and password. However, some library databases work better when the VPN is running in the background, creating a secure connection from your computer to Duke over a public network while you are working remotely. Visit these pages to learn more about accessing library services from off-campus, connecting to Duke’s network using the VPN, or using the 13 search strategies and databases we think Divinity students should know about.

Software available through Duke

Duke University provides students, faculty, and staff with free and discounted software that is useful to academic work. In addition to the complete Microsoft Office software suite (including Word, Excel, and Power Point), Duke students have access to RefWorks and EndNote, two popular tools for managing bibliographies and citations. Learn more about software available through Duke at OIT’s software licensing page.

Duke ePrint: the software for on-campus printing

Duke’s ePrint system allows students to print from their own computer or other device to any campus printing station. Download and install the ePrint client software to your computer, or search your mobile device’s app store for the Pharos App to connect to Duke’s printers. Learn more about ePrint, see instructions for installing ePrint on your Mac computer, or installing eprint on your Windows computerlearn more about mobile printing (including printing via email).

You can use this program to print to any of Duke’s on-campus printers, which are located at the Bryan Center, the campus libraries, and most academic buildings. The Divinity School has three print stations: one in the Student Lounge area of the Gray Building, one inside the Divinity Library, and one just outside the Divinity Library’s main entrance (next to our lockers).

Duke Self-Checkout

The Divinity School Library has a self-checkout station in front of our circulation desk. To use the self-checkout, install the “Duke Self-Checkout” app on your mobile device and log in with your Duke NetID and password. (Our self-checkout station also has an iPad you can use, but we highly recommend using your own device.) Use your phone or tablet’s integrated camera to scan the Duke Library barcode on your book(s), then use the station’s desensitizer to finish checking out. Learn more about self-checkout here; there are also instructions for using self-checkout posted at the station.

Computers and Scanners

The Divinity Library has several computer stations and scanners available for students to use. Also, please feel free to consider making a scan from your mobile device: the Notes app on your iPhone or iPad has an integrated scanner; we also recommend Genius Scanner or Adobe Scan.

Re-Opening the Divinity Library

Welcome to the Fall 2020 semester!

The Divinity School Library is open by reservation only (follow this link to make a reservation). In line with University policy, the Divinity School Library will be open to Duke faculty, staff, and students only. We cannot welcome Duke alumni, Friends of the Library, or other guests and visitors at this time; we apologize.

Divinity School Library hours this semester will be 8am-5pm, Monday – Friday.

You must make a reservation in advance to visit the Divinity School Library. There will be no food or drink allowed in the library this semester (apart from water bottles). All library users will need to wear a face mask, present their Duke ID to Library Staff at the Circulation Desk, and abide by the Duke Compact at all times. Please return any books you handle during your reservation to a marked book cart. Do not hand them to a librarian, and do not attempt to re-shelve them yourself. (We do appreciate the thought! But don’t do it.)

Additional rules and instructions for making a reservation are below. If you are looking for information on how to access library services without coming into the library itself, here are some other pages that might interest you:

Divinity Library E-Reserves

Requesting Divinity Library books for pickup

Requesting books from other Duke Libraries

Returning Duke Library books

Technology: Printing, Scanning, and Online/Off-site access to Library resources

Duke Libraries’ FAQ on re-opening and resuming services for Perkins, Bostock, Lilly, etc.

Reserving study seats and equipment in other Duke Libraries


Making a Reservation at the Divinity School Library

It is extremely important to your librarians that all Divinity students have space available to do the important, difficult work you are being asked to do for your classes. We also know our students have different needs. Some of you will be doing all your coursework remotely and may want to spend time in the library just once or twice this semester. Some of you will want to be regulars in the library on a particular day of the week, perhaps because you have multiple classes on campus that day. Some of you need to escape noisy roommates or small children so that you can read or write for your classes. And  some of you will want to spend every hour of every day in the library. We get it. We want the Divinity Library to be here for all of you.

Right now our Booking system is weighted toward letting a lot of students spend a little bit of time in the Divinity Library. As the semester gets underway and we learn more about students’ library needs, we will adapt. Here are some of the limitations you can expect right now:

  • Reservations are available from 9am-4pm, Monday to Friday.
  • You can reserve a seat for anywhere between 1 hour and the maximum 7-hour window.
  • Bookings are available 14 days in advance. (So you can make a reservation for next Tuesday, but you cannot make a reservation for November. Yet.)

Ready to get started? Go to the Divinity School Library Reservations page and select “Book a Seat.”

Here are a few hints to get you started:

  • If you want to reserve a seat in the library ASAP, there is a “Next Available” button.
  • If you want to reserve a seat on a specific date, the “Go To Date” button will bring up a calendar, and you can select the date you want.

  • GREEN boxes mean a seat is available. RED boxes mean someone has already booked this seat.
  • Don’t worry about the numbers (Divinity Seat 1, etc.). You are not reserving a specific seat. Your favorite table in the Reference Room, or carrel on the BR level, will be available on a first come, first served basis during your reservation window.
  • All seating in the Divinity Library has been adjusted so that patrons can sit at least six feet apart from one another. Please do not move furniture when you are in the Divinity Library.
  • The Baker Room and the Library Seminar Room will be unavailable as study spaces.

  • Once you have selected your seat, you can adjust the ending time for your reservation at the bottom of the page. The default reservation setting is 3 hours.
  • Hit “Submit Times.” You will be redirected to an authentication page where you will log in with your Duke NetID and password.
  • On the final reservation page, you will have to signal your agreement with certain policies (wearing a mask, not bringing in food, etc.).
  • Hit “Submit My Booking” at the bottom of the page. You will receive an email shortly from “Library Calendar” confirming your reservation.

Ready to get started? Go to the Divinity School Library Reservations page and select “Book a Seat.” And when you come to the library, remember:

Wear a face mask

Wash your hands (a lot)

Have your Duke ID ready

Return your Books to a Cart (not a librarian)

We look forward to supporting your work at Duke Divinity School this year!

Contactless Lending at the Divinity Library

UPDATE: You may now request Divinity Library books through the catalog (see the main Library Takeout page for more information). You may select your pickup library location from several options; if you select Divinity as your pickup location, Divinity librarians will email you with a locker number and combination when your items are ready.

We will keep the Divinity Titles request form active in the event that the pandemic forces Duke to close certain services, such as shipping between libraries. However, you may now use Library Takeout to request books from Divinity as well as other Duke Libraries.

The Divinity Library is happy to offer a contactless lending service. You may request titles through the catalog or using this form. Don’t need to read the entire book? We are also fulfilling scanning requests; follow this link for instructions on how to replace a request for scanning. Read on for details about how to request books, how to pick them up, and how we’re keeping you safe throughout this process.


    • Do not use this form to request the library’s copies of books that are required readings for Fall 2020 Divinity courses. Please check the Divinity E-Reserves page for electronic access to these textbooks.
    • Please do not spray or wipe down our books. Please do not microwave our books. It is not necessary to clean or disinfect them; in fact, this will hurt the books.
    • You will need to wear a mask and abide by the Duke Compact when on campus.


How to Request Books

UPDATE: It is now possible to request Divinity items through the Duke Libraries catalog. You may also use this form to submit your request. The form will ask you for some basic information (your name, email, and NetID) and allow space for as many as 12 titles. Please include the title and call number (highlighted below) for each book you are requesting. (You can copy and paste this information straight from the item record in the library catalog.)

Please also make sure the item has “Divinity School Library — Stacks” as its location, and “Available” as its status (see the blue arrows above). We cannot deliver items from other libraries through this form; nor are we recalling items that are currently checked out to other patrons.


How to Pick Up Books

Once you have submitted your request, please allow a minimum of 72 hours for processing by Divinity Librarians. We will email you if we have any questions or issues locating any of the books you selected. Your items will be checked out to you and placed in a library locker outside the Divinity Library’s main entrance. Library staff will email you with a locker number and combination after your books have been delivered. You may come at any time to pick up books that have been delivered to a locker; however, please note that access to campus is still restricted. You will need to wear a mask throughout your visit to campus, swipe your Duke ID to enter the Divinity building, and practice social distancing with any staff you may encounter.

Ready to request items? Follow this link to the Divinity Titles Request form.



When can I come into the library? All students will need to make a reservation in order to come into the Divinity Library. Please see this page for more information.

What if I need books from other libraries; can I request them for pickup at Divinity? UPDATE: Yes, you can! Requests through the Duke Libraries catalog can be delivered to Divinity, and Divinity Library books can be requested for delivery to other library locations. See this FAQ page for details on the DUL (Perkins/Bostock/Lilly/Music) take-out service.

Where should I park when I come in to pick up books? The Bryan Center parking garage is closest to the Divinity School building. If you arrive and depart within 30 minutes, you will not be charged.

Can I return my books? Sure! Please return items through the Divinity Library’s book drop, outside our main entrance. See this page for more information.

How soon will my items be ready? We are committed to getting your requested books to you as soon as possible. It generally takes 72 hours to fully process a request, due to the mandatory minimum quarantine periods built into this process.

I’m comfortable skipping the quarantine period and all these other extra steps. Can I request books for same-day pickup? No. Our protocols for materials handling are not a question of what level of risk individual patrons are willing to accept; rather, they are based on what level of risk Duke University is willing to accept. Decisions about wearing face masks and other personal protective equipment, about strength and composition of sanitizing solution, about length of quarantine period for various materials, etc., are all based on extensive research and committee work conducted through Duke University Libraries and the Duke Health System. Our answer to many requests, that in other times would seem perfectly reasonable, must therefore be “no.”

Just how “contactless” is this contactless lending service? We are taking steps to make this process as safe as possible, and it is completely fair for patrons to ask for a little more detail so they can make informed decisions about whether they are comfortable coming to campus for books. As we collect your requested books and check them out to you, librarians will be wearing masks. We are washing our hands frequently throughout the day and will always do so immediately prior to handling books for checkout. Email notifications are sent out on a 24-hour delay, so when you receive notification that your books are available, you can be confident they have not been touched by anyone for at least 24 hours.