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Queer Bloomsbury$
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Brenda S. Helt and Madelyn Detloff

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781474401692

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474401692.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 15 June 2021

Nailed: Lytton Strachey’s Jesus Camp

Nailed: Lytton Strachey’s Jesus Camp

(p.172) Nailed: Lytton Strachey’s Jesus Camp
Queer Bloomsbury

Avery Todd

Edinburgh University Press

Avery explores Lytton Strachey’s engagement with Christian ethical discourse and iconography to promote a queer ethical ideal of friendship and intimacy unfettered by moral convention. In his famous biographies and in a series of essays, short stories, and dialogues, it is clear he was perennially interested in religious questions and themes. Despite his atheism and disapproval of religious faith, he believed that the achievement of sexual and ethical autonomy, the legitimation of alternative sexualities and a new sexual ethic, demanded a serious critique of Christian moralism. In a sado-masochistic crucifixion experiment in the late 1920s, he allowed himself to be affixed to a cross and pierced in the side by his lover Roger Senhouse, providing a striking example from the modernist period and from the Bloomsbury milieu of how an iconically normative object may be used to express a queer ethical, sexual, and social vision.

Keywords:   Bloomsbury Group, queer, queer ethics, Lytton Strachey, Roger Senhouse, queer religion, queering religion, Todd Avery

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