Pedagogies of Dissent: Bridging the Religion-LGBTQ Divide

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The purpose of this paper is to set out the contours for a pedagogy of dissent, i.e., a pedagogical approach to religion that recognizes the role of dissent in bridging the conventional antagonism between religious and LGBTQ concerns for education. Seán Henry begins it with the view that a pedagogy conducive to this kind of work can be engaged with if the relation between education and religion is framed in radically conservative terms. From here, Henry inquires into the pedagogical commitments necessary for dissent as a mode of bridge-building to occur. These commitments are (1) an orientation toward remembrance, understood less in terms of a commonality of religious identity and more in terms of a “structural condition of the present”; and (2) an embodied attention to the proximity of the other. The paper concludes with some thoughts on the nature of the pedagogical content that could be helpful in enacting these commitments. Henry suggests that pedagogies of dissent require theological content that (1) reworks past traditions, without justifying or downplaying their shortcomings; and (2) is explicit in its rejection of heteronormativity through a sensitivity to the lived experiences of LGBTQ people.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEducational Theory
Issue number5
Early online date17 Jan 2023
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jan 2023


  • dissent
  • religion
  • education
  • queer theology


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