Note: This podcast includes content suitable for adult audiences; listener discretion is advised.
TJ and David talked with Giacomo Sanfilippo, who is an Orthodox Christian and the founding editor of the blog Orthodoxy in Dialogue, where he has become the Orthodox Church’s most well known LGBTQ advocate. Largely influenced by his work on Father Pavel Florensky, Giacomo’s perspective is grounded in an ascetic view of sexuality and same-sex love, whereby Christians are made more like God through acts of self-sacrifice and discipline. Based on his work at Orthodoxy in Dialogue, we wanted to hear more about how he comes to his theology of sexuality, particularly as embedded in the Eastern Orthodox Christian tradition.
Giacomo was a great conversation partner in seeking to understand a theology of same-sex love and building understanding across differences. We encourage listeners to listen closely to try to understand one Side A perspective more carefully, and to think about how people from a Side B perspective might engage people with whom they have distinct disagreements but also surprising similarities.
1:00 - Introducing Giacomo
6:00 - Orthodox marriage vs same-sex relationships
11:55 - What has theologically informed your understanding of same-sex love?
24:40 - Giacomo’s story
37:00 - Becoming more public in the Christian sexuality conversation
43:25 - How do you integrate your understanding of same-sex love with the Orthodox church’s teaching around marriage?
48:25 - Asceticism in sexuality: a monogamous vision for same-sex (and heterosexual) couples
54:00 - If there’s no sex in heaven…
58:05 - Do people who are celibate miss out on a “need”?
1:18:30 - The myth of being “fully satisfied” in a relationship
1:28:00 - David and TJ on Side B perceptions of queerness
Links, References, and Terms
Orthodoxy in Dialogue website: orthodoxyindialogue.com
Article: “Conjugal Friendship” publicorthodoxy.org/2017/05/02/conjugal-friendship/
Asceticism (you can look this up many places. We’ll offer just one relevant link: https://orthodoxwiki.org/Asceticism)
Pavel Florensky: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pavel_Florensky
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