Reconstructing Rituals: Using bricolage to (re) negotiate faith based rituals with the Jewish LGBT+ community.

Greenfields, Margaret, Kochberg, Searle, Milne, EJ and Knan, Surat Shaan (2016) Reconstructing Rituals: Using bricolage to (re) negotiate faith based rituals with the Jewish LGBT+ community. In: 3rd ISA Forum of Sociology, 10 - 14 July 2016, Vienna Austria. (Unpublished)

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In Judaism, hetero-normative expectations which reify the binary of male/female exist in cultural and religious life. These presumptions of the centrality of heterosexuality to Judaism can create both psycho-social exclusion (Takács, 2006; Mendes, undated) and a sense of detachment from ritual and practice (Schneer & Aviv, 2002; Alpert, 1997) for those who do not ‘fit’ this binary model. Accordingly, some Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning and Intersex (LGBT+) Jewish people perceive themselves as ‘doubly other’ (Rose & Balka, 1989) experiencing a sense of cultural loss, religious exclusion and discrimination in key ritual settings. This problem of ‘double-othering’ (exclusion by virtue of both LGBT+ identity and as a result of religio-cultural practice) can be particularly acute for Trans-Jews who report that they can be confined to a ‘limbo’ situation, even in contexts where lesbian and gay co-religionists are accepted as full members of a congregation (see Dzmura, 2011). In a community-driven initiative, members of the UK Jewish LGBT+ community codesigned and participated in an Arts and Humanities Research Council UK funded project “Ritual Reconstructed: Challenges to Disconnection, Division and Exclusion in the Jewish LGBT+ Community”. It explored participants’ relationships to faith through the use of film and bricolage which (re)created public and personal rituals incorporating both Jewish and queer identities alongside and through the medium of art, storytelling, poetry, music and performance. The Community project has taken as a starting point Mary’s (2005) definition of bricolage - a dialogue between ‘meaningful material that one borrows’ and ‘incarnated forms one inherits’, through which we contemplate Savastano’s (2007) argument that LGBT+ persons are forced to create our own sacred or alternative myths in order to create a new way of bringing together queer spiritual identities.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item
Keywords: Bricolage, Rituals, Judaism, LGBT+
Depositing User: RED Unit Admin
Date Deposited: 23 Feb 2021 09:23
Last Modified: 24 Feb 2021 09:10

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