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Transnational religious networks: sexuality and the changing power geometries of the Anglican Communion

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Abstract

This paper focuses on the response of the global Anglican Communion to the issue of homosexuality, drawing on case studies of parishes in three different national contexts (UK, USA and South Africa). It traces some of the complex connections (e.g. through flows of money, resources and discourses) between places differently located within this transnational religious network to identify a complex geometry of power. Through its attention to the deployment of racist, disablist, colonial and sexist discourses in debates about homosexuality, this paper contributes to geographies of difference by showing how prejudices can intersect in complex ways to facilitate but also to undo or cancel each other out. The conclusion reflects on issues of authority, the meaning of ‘communion’ and how local insights might be scaled-up to imagine a practical response to the institutional crisis about homosexuality in the global Anglican Communion. In doing so, the paper contributes to understanding how differences may be reconciled within a transnational religious context.

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