Gagnon’s ‘The Bible and Homosexual Practice’ revisited

Timothy Kincaid

July 23rd, 2012

Jean-Fabrice Nardelli's "Robert Gagnon's 'The Bible and Homosexual Practice' Ten Years After. A Non-Theological Assessment" (Click to download. PDF: 474KB/40 pages)

Dr. Robert Gagnon, the anti-gay activists’ favorite theologian, has enjoyed the advantage of a second rate scholar: those who look to him to justify their prejudices accept his assertions with adoration while serious scholars have mostly ignored him.

Those who have challenged Gagnon have mostly done so from a theological approach. But Jean-Fabrice Nardelli, a classical philologist at l’Université de Provence, has determined that the time is right to take on Gagnon’s handling of the evidence and subject it to a scholarly review.

Nardelli’s published work focuses on Homer and the Ancient Near East (Le motif de la paire d’amis héroïques à prolongements homophiles. Perspectives odysséennes et proche-orientales, 2004 ; La diction épique en débat. Un commentaire linguistique d’Odyssée XXIV 205-412, 2006), literary anthropology of sexuality (Homosexuality and Liminality in the Gilgamesh and Samuel, 2007) and philological or historical fallacies in the fields of Classics, Bible and Assyriology (Aristarchus antibarbarus. Pseudologies mésopotamiennes, bibliques, classiques, 2012).

I very strongly recommend Nardelli’s monograph. While it is heavily notated, it is not dry, boring, nor above the head of those who lack an education in the classics or ancient languages.

Nardelli: Robert Gagnon’s ‘The Bible and Homosexual Practice’ Ten Years After. A Non-Theological Assessment (PDF: 474KB/40 pages).

MR Bill

July 23rd, 2012

Well, that was a proper academic flaying of Bigotry pretending to be Theological Scholarship.
And I can puzzle out the French, but lost my German long ago and never had Greek. One might wish for a translation of the texts…

Ben in Oakland

July 23rd, 2012

All that verbiage and more footnotes than text to demonstrate that

1) gagnon’s thesis is “ooooh. Gay. Icky”.

2) hermanEutics is the fine art if getting your holy book to say whatever you need it to

3) gagnon and his ilk–and there is a lot of ilk there– really know nothing about gay people at all, but they sure to know how to yak

4) the absolute authority of Holy St. Gandalf,s cry: “send me someone with less lore and more wisdom.”

I got half way through this and gave up.

mark miner

July 23rd, 2012

OH HO! This is 50 pages of French Scholarly Connairie of the highest order!-
Mark Miner, who is quote-boy for Greek and Latin on Biblical and Queer projects both.

William O'Donnell

July 23rd, 2012


I would like to extend a personal ‘thank you’ for publishing this fine paper, which is long overdue! I hope it gets it due attention on your excellent website

I have never really considered Gagnon to be a scholar or an intellectual, but I digress.

William (the William who is proud to be mentioned along with the lamented Bruce Gerig in footnote 103)


July 23rd, 2012


“…the book deliberately mistakes petty prejudice for intellectual courage when it suggests that its preparation cost the author much and might well endanger him by virtue of his swimming against the prevalent ideological current.
As if there were something similar between Gagnon’s comfortable tenure or cozy church activities and the daily sufferings of gay boys bashed, bullied, sent by their parents to boot camp or left by the curb ! The long list of youngsters dying because of what they were, from Matthew Shepard to Tyler Clementi, exposes this special pleading of Gagnon’s for the heartless, revolting hypocrisy it is.”


July 23rd, 2012

How fun!
Robert Gagnon, the psedo-academic with the French name reduced to a fine ash by a real French academic. I’ll take my irony wherever I can get it. Well done.

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