Faith Glossary

A defense of doctrine or belief through a systematic argument; explaining and defending an idea or belief against its critics.
A mental strategy to manage cognitive dissonance, separate conflicting ideas, or set boundaries by isolating the inconsistent views or behaviors from each other.
Attempts to critique or dismantle hegemonic power. In other words, it is a confrontation and/or opposition to existing status quo and its legitimacy in politics, but can also be observed in various other spheres of life, such as history, media, music, etc.
Critical interpretation of a text to reveal its meaning, especially scripture. This may include close textual study and translation, placement of the text into a historical and literary context, and consulting secondary sources and commentaries.
Nonbinding Islamic legal opinion. Fatwa are products of ijtihad.
A broad term meant to encompass a wide range of queer sexual and gender identities.
A collection of traditions containing sayings of the prophet Muhammad, revered and received as a major source of religious law and moral guidance within Islam.
The dominance of one group over another; the socio-cultural and ideological assumptions produced by the dominant group to justify and maintain its power.
The methods with which and the framework from which one interprets a text, especially scripture. The hermeneutical frame employed will shape what meaning is drawn from the text.
A concept within post-colonial critical theory principally developed by Homi Bhabha. Broadly, it refers to the mixing of eastern and western cultures and how that impacts the cultural group in power as well as the marginalized cultural group.
Holding conflicting ideas or behaviors together at the same time.
Independent reasoning and interpretation of divine word to extract law.
Kinsey scale
Point on the Heterosexual-Homosexual Rating Scale developed by Dr. Alfred Kinsey and Dr. Clyde Martin that indicates a degree of sexual orientation and attraction along a continuum.
Kinsey unit
A unit on the Kinsey scale, which ranges from 0 for those interviewed who solely had desires for and/or sexual experiences with the opposite sex to 6 for those who had exclusively same sex desires and/or experiences, and 1–5 for those who had varying levels of desire or experiences with both sexes, including “incidental” or “occasional” desire for sexual activity with the same sex.
Make part of a formal liturgical celebration; to include in the script or form of a public religious worship. Examples of queer liturgy may include a Pride service, a Transgender Day of Remembrance service, hymns written with queer and genderqueer content, or updated baptismal or christening rituals for a transgender congregant to mark a new name or “rebirth.”
Gloria Anzaldúa described her term as “a kind of border woman who is able to negotiate between different cultures and cross over from one to the other, and therefore has a perspective of all those different worlds that someone who is mono-cultural cannot have.”
model minority
A form of racism. Stereotypes that hold a racial or ethnic minority group to have more intelligence, more palatable behavior, more economic potential, or other seemingly positive characteristics by virtue of innate racial or ethnic qualities. The stereotype serves to maintain white supremacy by, for example, pitting communities of color against one another or by masking racial violence against all people of color (including the so-called model group).
Simply, a theoretical approach in various disciplines that is concerned with the lasting political, aesthetic, economic, historical, and social impact of colonization in former colonies.
Imbue with or treat as having a sacred character or quality; to set apart for worship; to inspire awe or reverence. All sacred things are made so, and therefore what is made or recognized as sacred reflects a person’s or a group’s values and what is considered holy. Queer sacralization is often perceived as sacrilege, and sometimes this blurring of solemnity and farce is a deliberate part of what is conveyed.
Canonical law based on the teachings of the Qur’an and the traditions of the prophet (hadith and sunna).
socialization model
A model of how a person or group processes the learning, application, and production of social norms.