• Germany edition
 
Church sermons to explore sex and gay love
Photo: Wikipedia Commons. Susanne and the Old Men by Guercino

Church sermons to explore sex and gay love

Published: 19 Sep 2013 11:55 GMT+02:00
Updated: 19 Sep 2013 11:55 GMT+02:00

Rudolf Renner, who is organising the programme, told The Local that homosexuality was a "hot topic" within the church in Saxony.

"There are still some people in the church that think homosexuality is a sin," Renner said. "The relationship between the church and sexuality is very tense."

"The Bible presents pictures that are both pro and anti body," Renner said. "How to reconcile these has been the subject of religious debate for years."

One of the sermons focusses on Jonathan and David - Old Testament figures who appear in the Books of Samuel. The nature of their relationship, and the possibility that they were homosexual lovers, has occupied religious scholars for centuries.

"Sexuality is a personal matter," Renner said. "I don't ask anyone about their sexuality but if someone comes to church and tells me they are gay, I will welcome them like I would anyone else."

Mira Körlin, spokeswoman for the parish, said: “Saxony has an image of being very conservative when it comes to religion.” She told The Local the sermons were an attempt to help rid Saxony of its reputation as the heartland of religious conservatism.

And that seems to have worked faster than expected, with Germany's mass-circulation Bild tabloid picking up on the story, which it headlined "First church preaches about sex, love and eroticism."

The report was accompanied by a large photograph of a topless woman, her nipples blurred out by crosses, passing an apple to an equally scantily-clad man.

Other sermons on offer include an address by student priest Tillmann Popp titled "Susanne in the bath - a (not) very ordinary, ordinary story" and a presentation by feminist theologians on the subject of "everyday eroticism."

The Protestant Church in Germany has been displaying increasing acceptance of homosexuality. In August, the first gay church wedding took place in Seligenstadt near Frankfurt.

And in April, Robert Zollitsch, the head of Germany's Roman Catholic Church, called for those with "different lifestyles" to be granted the right to be employed by his church.

Kate Ferguson

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Driver, 18, ploughs into school pupils
The scene by the bus stop outside the school in Diepholz. Photo: DPA

Driver, 18, ploughs into school pupils

An 18-year-old drove into a group of students outside a school in western Germany on Friday morning, injuring several. READ  

Munich gets four Euro 2020 matches
Photo: DPA

Munich gets four Euro 2020 matches

Munich will play host to four Euro 2020 games, European football’s governing body Uefa announced in Geneva on Friday, but London was the real winner. READ  

View from Germany
'In a globalized world we don't need more loners'
'No' campaign supporters celebrate in Edinburgh after the results were announced. Photo: DPA

'In a globalized world we don't need more loners'

UPDATE: The German government welcomed the result of the Scottish independence referendum on Friday, with Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier calling it the "right decision". READ  

Oktoberfest 2014
Your guide to Munich Oktoberfest's beer
Photo: DPA

Your guide to Munich Oktoberfest's beer

The Local's Oktoberfest guide chugs some of the Bavarian tipple fueling this whole shindig. READ  

Berlin squat ripped apart by fire
Kreuzberg's Cuvrybrache. Photo: DPA

Berlin squat ripped apart by fire

UPDATE: One of Berlin’s biggest squats was torn apart by a fire on Thursday night following an argument. READ  

Sterilized woman gets pregnant, sues doctors
Photo: DPA

Sterilized woman gets pregnant, sues doctors

A woman who gave birth after becoming sterilized has tried and failed to sue the hospital which carried out the operation. READ  

Thousands queue for Apple's iPhone 6
Queues outside the Apple Store in Dresden. Photo: DPA

Thousands queue for Apple's iPhone 6

UPDATE: Apple’s new iPhone 6 went on sale on Friday morning, leading to long queues outside stores across Germany. Berlin's Apple Store sold out of the iPhone 6 Plus in an hour. READ  

Blitzmarathon
Pupils catch teacher and mum speeding
A camouflaged speed camera in Schleswig-Holstein on Thursday. Photo: DPA

Pupils catch teacher and mum speeding

UPDATE: A nationwide operation against speeding drivers ended on Friday morning, with police hailing their "Blitzmarathon" as a success. One child in Düsseldorf caught his own mother driving too fast, while another driver hit 238 km/h. READ  

Police find two dead babies in station locker
The lockers at Hamburg central station. Photo: DPA

Police find two dead babies in station locker

UPDATE: Police in Hamburg found the bodies of two dead babies hidden in a train station locker on Thursday morning. One suspect is in psychiatric care. READ  

Germany's first Iraq arms delivery is ready
The weapons are ready to be sent. Photo: Bundeswehr/Pulpanek

Germany's first Iraq arms delivery is ready

Germany’s military said on Thursday it was ready to send its first shipment of arms to Kurds fighting Islamic extremists Isis in northern Iraq. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: DPA
Culture
Your guide to Munich Oktoberfest's tents
Photo: DPA
Hamburg
Drunk teachers ruin school trip to Hamburg
Marks & Spencer
Sponsored Article
Fashion Ladies of the Local: Win a New Autumn Look
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Oktoberfest 2014: The best and worst in dirndl fashion
Photo: Shutterstock
Gallery
Ten German words you'll never want to hear again
Photo: DPA
Education
German universities tumble in global rankings
Photo: Shutterstock
Business & Money
The three types of firms hiring foreigners
Photo: DPA
Berlin
Frisky couple shock Berlin commuters
Photo: Bayernpartei/DPA
Politics
Why some Bavarians want a Scottish 'Yes'
Sponsored Article
Bilingual education from nursery to graduation at Phorms
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,371
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd