Scholar to Address Sexuality and Religion in the U.S.

Professor Tanya Erzen of Ohio State University will deliver a free public lecture, "Queer Conversions: The Sexual Politics of the Christian Ex-Gay Movement," April 2 at 7:30 p.m. in the Hatfield Room on the second floor of the Mark O. Hatfield Library at Willamette University.

She also will give a free lecture at 11:30 a.m. that day in Cone Chapel for University Convocation. Erzen's visit is sponsored by Willamette's Center for Religion, Law and Democracy and The Teagle Foundation.

Erzen is an associate professor in the department of comparative studies at Ohio State University. Her scholarly interests include American and comparative religion with a focus on Evangelicalism; religion, gender and sexuality; social movements and politics; political theory; and the Christian Right. She is the author of the award-winning 2006 book, Straight to Jesus: Sexual and Christian Conversions in the Ex-Gay Movement.

Straight to Jesus is an ethnographic study and cultural history of the ex-gay movement, an international network of religious ministries that attempt to change and convert gay men and lesbians to non-homosexual Christian lives through psychological, self-help, therapeutic and biblical approaches. The book, which focuses on the everyday lives of men and women at a residential ex-gay program in California, analyzes conservative Christian politics around sexual transformation and identification, evangelical conversion and testimony, and alternative forms of kinship.

For more information, contact Reyna Meyers with the Center for Religion, Law and Democracy at (503) 370-6046.