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Art That Dares: Gay Jesus, Woman Christ and More

Hide & Speak: a Coming Out Guide
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Lambda Literary Award finalist

Lambda Literary Award
Finalist 2007


Art that dares to show Jesus as gay or female has been censored and destroyed. Now for the first time these beautiful, powerful, sometimes shocking images are gathered for all to see.

Packed with full-page color illustrations, this eye-opening collection features a diverse group of eleven contemporary artists who work both inside and outside the church. They present the gay Jesus, the woman Christ and other cutting-edge Christian images. Their art respects the teachings of Jesus and frees the minds of viewers.

Here the artists tell the stories behind the images. A lively introduction puts the new genre into political and historical context, exploring issues of blasphemy and artistic freedom.

Publisher: AndroGyne Press
Paperback with color images: 96 pages
Dimensions: 8.5 x 11 inches
Price: $38.95
Publication date: 2007


The book includes these images and many more:

Missa Solemnis
Jill Ansell

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Jesus Returns to God
F. Douglas Blanchard

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The Crucifixion of Christ
Becki Jayne Harrelson

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Christ the Bridegroom
Robert Lentz

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Christ Mother
Janet McKenzie

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St. Francis 'Neath the Bitter Tree
William Hart McNichols

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Sermon on the Mount
Elisabeth Ohlson Wallin

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(c) Edwina Sandys 1975

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Adam and the New Adam
Gary Speziale

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Sandra Yagi

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Alex Donis

Jesus and Lord Rama
Alex Donis

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Read news and reviews of Art That Dares:

Michael Bronski: Queer-eyed… Christly iconography shows the power of re-imagining

Midwest Book Review: Deftly compiled

White Crane Journal: Her ‘blasphemy’ is so honest, respectful and inspiring

New York Sun: New Mexico Gallery Set To Cause a Stir With Shocking Images of Jesus

Advocate: Breathtaking... has the jolt of the revolutionary to it

“This innovative collection of startlingly provocative images and insightful commentary is suitable for coffee table and classroom. What better way to teach feminist and queer theologies than to show what they look like!”

—Mary Hunt, Ph.D., co-director, Women’s Alliance for Theology, Ethics and Ritual

“In her latest work, Art that Dares: Gay Jesus, Woman Christ, and More, Kittredge Cherry tells the fascinating true stories of her artists who were caricatured and condemned for daring to portray a gay Jesus or a feminine Christ. She offers us beautiful color reproductions of their controversial art that was censored and even destroyed. I love this book. I am grateful to its author for using art to help undermine heterosexism and homophobia. And I celebrate the fact that once more Kittredge Cherry has moved beyond the flat, one-sided, predictable Jesus with blond hair and blue eyes to show us a living Christ who loved outcasts best and lived and died to prove it.”

—Mel White, founder of Soulforce, LGBT Christian activist group

“I approached Art That Dares with trepidation because my fundamentalist upbringing had instilled in me a distaste for explicitly sexual images or unconventional depictions of the deity. But Kittredge Cherry’s wise, tender, and learned commentary calmed my fears and enabled me to behold the stunning beauty of these depictions of Jesus-as gay, as black, as the horned god, as a woman — and of his mother in a rapturous female partnership. Some of the images called forth tears too deep for words. This is an amazing, disconcerting, and sacred book, to be experienced again and yet again: a treasure.”

—Virginia Ramey Mollenkott, author of Transgender Journeys and Sensuous Spirituality, and other books

Art That Dares is a stunning, artistically haunting, spiritually revolutionary, provocatively honest book that is a fresh alternative to deadened religiosity. I give thanks for its passionate creativity.”

—The Rev. Canon Malcolm Boyd, poet, Episcopal priest, gay elder, author of Are You Running with me, Jesus?

“From Michelangelo to Mantegna, Piero Della Francesca to Paul Gauguin, images of Jesus Christ have offended, delighted, outraged, and inspired the devout. For each controversial image, the sacred and profane become intermixed in new ways, challenging viewers to rethink their own imaginary history of religion, spirituality, and sexuality. Kittredge Cherry has performed a great service for our contemporary age, reminding us again what we hold sacred and profane, and how our old categories might be reimagined.”

—S. Brent Plate, Associate Professor of Religion and the Visual Arts, Texas Christian University, and author of Blasphemy: Art that Offends

“Kitt Cherry’s newest creation is wonderful, mind-blowing, and beautiful... Her ’blasphemy’ is so honest, so respectful, visionary, and inspiring that it becomes a kind of new religion, a Christianity not stuck in literal old stories, but alive with imagery meaningful to us today — not the Jesus of history 2,000 years old, but the mystical Jesus of the present NOW, alive in human beings today, suffering and resurrecting through the struggles of modern life and of sexual and gender liberation.”

—Toby Johnson, author of Gay Spirituality and past editor of White Crane

Art That Dares dares to feature art that challenges the non-sexual, non-contemporary, hence, distancing views of Jesus Christ. This passionate, edgy art accomplishes what words alone cannot manage — portraying a fully human Jesus, a multi-racial, multi-gender Christ for the 21st century. Thanks to Kitt Cherry for publishing these courageous artists’ work. Her documentation of the story of this art is provocative and enlightening.”

—Rev. Elder Nancy Wilson, Moderator, Metropolitan Community Churches

“Cherry’s books are extremely important... A very brave and very creative first bunker in the ongoing battle for liberation.”

—Michael Worsnip, The Witness, South Africa