Book Review – Coming In

Coming In – Gays and lesbians reclaiming the spiritual journey by Urs Mattmann – foreword by Richard Rohr. Published by Wild Goose Publications – £9.99

So very much of what is said about gay people and religion is said by straight people. Straight people sometimes seem to be obsessed by gay people in the church. This is a book that is a little different, in that it is a book about spirituality written by a gay man for gay people.

One of the central themes in this book is the idea that gay people in themselves have a great and distinctive potential for discovering and sharing the spiritual. This is not merely about coping with the church, it is about getting to know God.

The author describes a mystical spirituality and provides meditations, exercises, rituals and prayers which gay people might use in order to foster spiritual discovery. This is a practical spirituality which many helpful suggestions.

The author of this book is a member of an ecumenical Christian religious order. He is a social worker and a counsellor and obviously has great experience in meditation. He has written a book which will make many think. This is not a justification for the acceptance of the visible presence of gay and lesbian people in God’s church – rather it is a tool for those very people to work with.

Do gay and lesbian people have or need a distinctive spirituality? That is only one of the more interesting questions that is posed by books like this one but which get drowned out by the noise of the current rather narrow debates about human sexuality.

The Anglican churches around the world are supposed to be engaged in a process of listening to lesbian and gay voices. In the curious absence of that process, both internationally and here in Scotland, we might as well do some reading, the better to pass the time. This book should be on the reading list.

Click here to order from Amazon

Published in inspires, the magazine of the Scottish Episcopal Church – April 2006

Speak Your Mind