BJU and Me

Queer Voices from the World's Most Christian University

Edited by Lance Weldy

Title Details

Pages: 368

Trim size: 6.000in x 9.000in

Formats

Paperback

Pub Date: 06/15/2022

ISBN: 9-780-8203-6159-8

List Price: $26.95

Hardcover

Pub Date: 06/15/2022

ISBN: 9-780-8203-6160-4

List Price: $114.95

BJU and Me

Queer Voices from the World's Most Christian University

Edited by Lance Weldy

Queer voices and perspectives from the nation's most conservative religious institution

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  • Description
  • Reviews
  • Contributors

Bob Jones University is a Christian, fundamentalist, nondenominational liberal arts school in Greenville, South Carolina. BJU was founded in 1927 by Christian evangelist Bob Jones Sr., who was against the secularization of higher education and the influence of religious liberalism in denominational colleges. For most of the twentieth century, BJU branded itself as the "World's Most Unusual University" because of its separatist culture. Many BJU students come from fundamentalist communities and are aware of BJU's strict rules and conservative lifestyle. So why would queer students enroll at BJU?

A former queer student of BJU himself, Lance Weldy has come to terms with his own involvement with the institution and has reached out to other queer students to help represent the range of queer experience in this restrictive atmosphere. BJU and Me: Queer Voices from the World's Most Christian University provides behind-the-scenes explanations from nineteen former BJU students from the past few decades who now identify as LGBT+. They write about their experiences, reflect on their relationships with a religious institution, and describe their vulnerability under a controlling regime.

Some students hid their sexuality and graduated under the radar; others transferred to other schools but faced reparative therapy elsewhere; some endured mandatory counseling sessions on campus; while still others faced incredible obstacles after being outed by or to the BJU administration. These students give voices to their queer experiences at BJU and share their unique stories, including encounters with internal and/or external trauma and their paths to self-validation and recovery. Often their journeys led them out of fundamentalism and the BJU network entirely.

BJU and Me is such an important and timely text, one that offers a captivating read, a diversity of experiences, and an insider knowledge of a prominent, often-inaccessible context.

—Tony E. Adams, author of Narrating the Closet: An Autoethnography of Same-Sex Attraction

BJU and Me pulls back a veil on the closed world of Bob Jones University in the best possible way: through the lens of queerness. . . . The text, through the various autoethnographies, clearly presents the complexities and multiple viewpoints about what it means to live under such an oppressive cloud. Most importantly, the authors tell the stories of how they became free of that cloud.

—Stephanie Mitchem, author of Race, Religion, and Politics: Toward Human Rights in the United States

Curt Allison

Bill Ballantyne

Andrew Bolden

Peter Crane

David Diachenko

Blair Durkee

Christy Haussler

Elena Kelly

Sandra Merzib

Megan Milliken

Fawn Mullinix

Jeff Mullinix

Rachel Oblak

Steve Shamblin

Micah J. Smith

Marshall

Reid

Avery Wrenne

About the Author/Editor

LANCE WELDY is professor of English at Francis Marion University. He has coedited the New Casebook series volume C. S. Lewis: The Chronicles of Narnia and also a special issue on sexualities and children's culture for the Children's Literature Association Quarterly. He lives in Florence, South Carolina.