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Critique Nonfiction Social Sciences

Incorporating Transgender Experience Toward a More Inclusive Gender Lens in the Sociology of Religion

By J. E. Sumerau, Lain A. B. Mathers, and Ryan T. Cragun, 2018

Sociologists of religion have recently started to pay more attention to the ways gender and religion are deeply interconnected. However, these analyses rarely focus their attention on transgender experiences within religious spaces. Building on research that points to the ways religions may “cisgender reality” and calls for a “gender lens” on religion, this article explores some ways transgender people experience religion. Specifically, we analyze how transgender people experience conservative Christian notions of gender predicated upon cisnormative and patriarchal norms. Our analysis offers an example of apply- ing a transgender inclusive gender lens to the sociology of religion, and expands prior work on gender and religion by incorporating the experiences of transgender people in religious contexts.

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