Trans and mutable bodies

Authored by: Kelli D. Potter

The Routledge Handbook of Mormonism and Gender

Print publication date:  May  2020
Online publication date:  April  2020

Print ISBN: 9780815395218
eBook ISBN: 9781351181600
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter explores the implications of Mormon materialism for the LDS Church’s approach to body modification, focusing primarily on its implications for transgender individuals––an important intersection between Mormonism’s theology of embodiment and its theology of gender. It argues that the existence of transgender folk poses a problem for the orthodox approach to embodiment. Instead, a heterodox interpretation of Mormon’s materialism is offered that sees the body as articulated through its “openness” rather than reducing it to what can be expressed in purely physicalistic scientific language. Ultimately, this interpretation could be the basis of a trans-affirming approach to Mormon’s praxis concerning bodily modification.

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