The Stained Glass Closet: Celibacy and Homosexuality in the Church of England to 1955

Timothy Jones

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Explores the changing relationship between celibacy and homosexuality in the early twentieth century. The 1954 Church of England Moral Welfare Report, The Problem of Homosexuality, emerged out of a deliberate silence regarding homosexuality in the Church. This chapter traces the development of the very idea of sexuality through fragments scattered through Church archives preceding the 1954 report, and explores the significance of the report itself. It has been structured to reflect the partial nature of its sources, and links the development of Anglican sexuality through a series of moments where documentation of the Church's explicit engagement with sexuality has survived. The article details the gradual incorporation of medico-psychoanalytic understandings of sexuality into the Anglican moral order. It highlights how sexuality became an identity category, how this affected understandings of celibacy, and the ways that moral and medical understandings of sexuality became interwoven between 1930 and 1950.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)132 - 152
    Number of pages20
    JournalJournal of the history of sexuality
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2011


    • church of england
    • celibacy
    • homosexuality


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