Children of God: Exploring URCSA’s Catechetical Sexual Ethic




Uniting Reformed Church in Southern Africa (URCSA), Reformed Church, Queer theology, Catechesis


Human sexuality has been on the agenda of the Uniting Reformed Church in Southern Africa (URCSA’s) General Synod since at least 2005. Since then, at each respective General Synod, the discussion has been set forth to theologise about the lives of members who are LGBTIQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer and other sexual minorities). Yet, throughout this time no attention has been afforded to the denomination’s catechesis, specifically its sexual ethic. This essay, then, attempts to contribute to the present dialogue on human sexuality with a focus on catechesis, or faith formation. It does so by following a queer theological hermeneutic, informed by the cultural criticism tradition in the form of queer theory. In order to investigate the sexual ethic at work in URCSA, the primary text engaged is its catechetical literature, Children of God. The essay, as such, attempts to note how URCSA has constructed its sexual ethic as heteronormative; and therefore, against all other sexual orientations. In order to do this, the essay probes three questions. First, it questions the existence and identity of URCSA. Second, it questions how a queering of catechesis may be done and what value it may contribute to the denomination. Third, it asks the question: quo vadis, where to URCSA? By asking this question, an attempt is made to qualify what it is that URCSA may need in queering its catechesis. Still, it is important to note that this reflection is much informed by the author’s experience of the denomination as a gay man.


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How to Cite

Thyssen, Ashwin. 2020. “Children of God: Exploring URCSA’s Catechetical Sexual Ethic”. Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae 46 (3):12 pages.



Received 2019-10-21
Accepted 2020-01-22
Published 2020-12-24