Nov. 16, 2022

#17 - Giacomo Sanfilippo on the Asceticism of Same-Sex Love

#17 - Giacomo Sanfilippo on the Asceticism of Same-Sex Love
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Note: This podcast includes content suitable for adult audiences; listener discretion is advised.

Giacomo was a great conversation partner for building understanding across differences and investigating a theology of same-sex love. 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 with those whom they have distinct disagreements but also surprising similarities.

Giacomo Sanfilippo 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.

Check out our response to Giacomo and other Side A guests in episode #23 - ⁠Side B Response to Side A: Our 2022 Guests ⁠


(1:01) Introducing Giacomo

(5:21) Updated Note: Clarification of Differences

(6:46) Orthodox marriage vs same-sex relationships

(12:41) What has theologically informed your understanding of same-sex love?

(25:25) Giacomo’s story

(37:49) Becoming more public in the Christian sexuality conversation

(44:22) How do you integrate your understanding of same-sex love with the Orthodox church’s teaching around marriage?

(49:13) Asceticism in sexuality: a monogamous vision for same-sex (and heterosexual) couples

(54:47) If there’s no sex in heaven…

(58:51) Do people who are celibate miss out on a “need”?

(1:19:13) The myth of being “fully satisfied” in a relationship

(1:28:46) David and TJ on Side B perceptions of queerness


Links, References, and Terms
Orthodoxy in Dialogue website:

Article: “Conjugal Friendship”

Asceticism (you can look this up many places. We’ll offer just one relevant link:


Pavel Florensky:


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