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Original Research

Prejudice, homophobia and the Christian faith community

Y Dreyer

Verbum et Ecclesia; Vol 27, No 1 (2006), 155-173. doi: 10.4102/ve.v27i1.137

Submitted: 21 September 2006
Published:  17 November 2006


The aim of the article is to illustrate that prejudice differs fundamentally from legitimate presuppositions that come into play when people interpret the Bible or reflect theologically on contemporary issues such as homosexuality. It is argued that prejudice leads to the theologically untenable phenomenon of homophobia. Though the rejection of prejudicial attitudes does not mean that “anything goes”, it is a theological necessity to expose harmful attitudes and behaviours regarding sexuality. To this end the article investigates the labels “homosexual”, “gay” and “queer” that, on the one hand, express and perpetuate homophobia and on the other hand represent a search for authentic identity on the part of sexual minorities. The  article reflects on the effect of underlying social identity theories on homophobia. Such theories include nominialism with its focus on “sameness” and essentialism that focuses on “difference”, as well as primordialism with its emphasis on the immutability of social identity formation and constructionism that highlights change.

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Author affiliations

Y Dreyer, University of Pretoria, South Africa



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ISSN: 1609-9982 (print) | ISSN: 2074-7705 (online)

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