The Bible, Ethics, & the Possibilities of Queerness: An Interview with Karen Keen

Jamie Arpin-Ricci
5 min readJan 16, 2020
(cover by Eerdmans, October 11, 2018)

Scripture, Ethics, and the Possibility of Same-Sex Relationships — An Interview with Karen Keen

I recently had the privilege to read an advance copy of Karen Keen‘s new book, “Scripture, Ethics, and the Possibility of Same-Sex Relationships”. The book was given to me for free in exchange for an honest review. While I agreed, I was skeptical that another book on the topic would have anything new to offer, especially one that was remarkably short (160 pages). So I was pleasantly surprised when I found the book an extremely helpful and unique approach to this important topic.

(photo provided by subject & used with permission)

What stood out most to me in the book was the deep respect the author showed to those who held beliefs on both “sides” on the issue in question. While she has a clear position of her own, she is clearly committed to building bridges with fair representation and respect. And to do so as clearly and succinctly as she did will open the door to readers who might otherwise shy away from length tomes on theology & sexuality.

It is with great pleasure, then, that I can share with you this short interview I had with Karen Keen about the book. I hope you will find it helpful:

Jamie Arpin-Ricci: Never has there been more books about a Christian response to the questions around sexuality, specifically LGBTQ+ inclusion. Why did you decide to wade into that with a new book? And what sets your book apart?

Karen Keen: Great question! Yes, books on sexuality and Christianity are a dime a dozen these days. Many of them cover similar arguments. I wrote Scripture, Ethics, and the Possibility of Same-Sex Relationships because of crucial gaps in the conversation.

First, many books on this topic, whether traditionalist or progressive tend to preach to the choir. Often each side does not understand its opponents’ views well enough to engage them in a respectful and accurate manner. Having defended a traditionalist view for much of my life, I get why conservative Christians do not feel…

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Jamie Arpin-Ricci

Jamie Arpin-Ricci is a bisexual author & activist with more than 25 years experience living at the intersection of faith, sexuality, and justice.