Lynne Gerber

Lynne Gerber

WSRP Visiting Scholar 2016–17
WSRP Research Associate 2015–16
Lynne Gerber

Research project

A Church Alive: AIDS and the Metropolitan Community Church of San Francisco

This book-length project focuses on the first two decades of the AIDS epidemic and the Metropolitan Community Church of San Francisco, a gay/lesbian congregation that engaged AIDS as a religious issue. The women leaders of the church shaped theological and practical responses to the epidemic.


Lynne Gerber’s research interests focus on religion, morality, and the body in American Christianities. She is interested in the moral construction of health and illness and the ways religious communities participate in that construction. She is also interested in how bodies and bodily desires are given moral meaning and how that moral meaning shapes social and cultural life.

Gerber’s first book, Seeking the Straight and Narrow: Weight Loss and Sexual Reorientation in Evangelical America (University of Chicago Press, 2011), compared efforts at containing the body and bodily desire in two evangelical parachurch organizations: a Christian weight loss program and a network of “ex-gay” ministries. She has also written on critical approaches to body size, gender in contemporary evangelicalism, religion and social class, and feminist research methods. Her current research is focused on religious responses to HIV/AIDS in San Francisco from 1980–2000.

Lynne comes to HDS from the University of California, Berkeley where she has been affiliated with the Institute for the Study of Societal Issues and the Religion, Politics and Globalization Program. She is the co-organizer of the Global Perspectives on Religion and AIDS seminar of the American Academy of Religion.

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