Imaginative assemblages of transcendent/desire: Non-heteronormative Malaysian men speak up and talk back

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Many non-heteronormative Malaysian men find themselves on the receiving end of political, socio-cultural, and religious condemnations of their sexual identifyings and expressions. Their lived realities are often considered invalid, including from religious and theological perspectives. This article is a queer socio-theological project that examines the lived realities of six non-heteronormative Malaysian men who speak up and talk back on their sexualities and spiritual sensibilities. Using a Constructivist Grounded Theory Methodology, and aided by the theological musings of Marcella Althaus-Reid and a document of the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences as analytical frameworks, this article analyzes and theologizes the complex processes of transcendent/desire, or negotiations of the “Profoundly More” and sexuality in the narratives of these men. This article suggests that transcendent/desire can be imaginatively assembled in three interrelated forms: (i) as embodied connections with the transcendent; (ii) as a vocation; and (iii) as an imperative to flourish.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-140
Number of pages16
JournalCritical Research on Religion
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2016


  • Asian theology
  • bisexual
  • gay
  • Malaysia
  • non-heteronormative men
  • queer theology

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