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Transforming: The Bible and the Lives of Transgender Christians

I'm so excited to announce that my first book, Transforming: The Bible and the Lives of Transgender Christians, is now available from Westminster John Knox Press! Order via Amazon,  Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Powells, or request it from your local bookstore!

Praise for Transforming

"Writing as a white, bisexual, transgender man who happens to be a committed Christian, Hartke nevertheless confesses that to this day he feels just a little bit nervous when he walks into any unfamiliar church building. And no wonder, for, as he will point out, many churches in America are less than welcoming to the 1.4 million transgender adults in their midst, a staggering 41 percent of whom will have attempted suicide. In this connection, he points out the importance of finding a supportive faith community. He writes movingly about his own search for such an environment but also offers the perspectives of a wide variety of other transgender people, whose stories he generously shares. Along the way, he writes about such practical matters as definitions of gender identities and what parts of our gender identities are socially constructed and what may be biologically set in stone. He poses many questions about his subject, of course, and finds answers in the Bible, sometimes surprising ones, as his equation of contemporary transgender people with eunuchs, the gender-nonconforming people of the ancient world. He also discusses the corporeal nature of Jesus and extrapolates from that a discussion of embodied theology. But his leitmotif remains the search for a welcoming religious community. It's an informative and illuminating quest, supplemented by an extensive appended list of further reading and resources. This is an important book that fills an urgent need."

--Booklist starred review

"What a powerful read! Clear, compelling, and profoundly moving, this book should be on the shelf of every pastor, every parent, and every Christian of good conscience who wants to engage the conversation around gender and sexuality with integrity. With the patience of a teacher and the humility of a fellow traveler, Austen Hartke carefully unpacks the terminology, sociological studies, and biblical and theological perspectives that most impact transgender Christians, and combines them with compelling personal stories including his own to point us toward truth. It s rare to find a book that manages to be this intellectually rigorous and this readable at the same time. But then, Austen Hartke is a rare talent, one we are so blessed to call part of the Body of Christ. I'll be recommending this book to friends and readers for years to come."

--Rachel Held Evans, author of Searching for Sunday and Inspired