Ron Long – Keynote 2006

Ron Long is an established international voice in the study of homosexuality and religion.

He is a graduate with High Honors in Religion from Kenyon College, Gambier, OH. After graduation, he studied philosophy as a Fulbright Scholar at Alberts-Magnus University, Freiburg-im-Breisgau, in what was in 1968 “West” Germany. He holds both master’s degrees and a doctorate in the study of religion from Columbia University, NY.

Ron has taught at both Vassar College and Columbia. He currently teaches as part of the full time faculty in the Program in Religion, Hunter College, City University of New York. As part of the offerings there, he teaches courses in dualistic traditions, in contemporary theology, and in the theory of religion. His primary offerings, however, are cross-cultural studies on such themes as death, the erotic, the environment, and–of course–homosexuality in religious perspective.

He has been for many years a member and erst-while co-chair of the Steering Committee for the Gay Men’s Issues in Religion Group of the American Academy of Religion, and his published writings are all focused on spiritual issues of gay men. He is published on both sides of the pond, in both German and English. His essays and reviews have appeared in such publications as the Harvard Gay and Lesbian Review, The Journal of Men’s Studies, and Theology and Sexuality. Most are soundings of the ethico-religious commitments at the heart of gay secularity. His 2004 release from Haworth Press, Men, Homosexuality, and the Gods, is a study of homosexuality and masculinity in the thought and practice of a representative sampling of the religious traditions of the world. Most recently, he has been interviewed by Toby Johnson for the White Crane Journal.

Although his academic teaching career at the university level spans almost thirty years, for those years he was but an adjunct he also worked as a professional trainer in a gym and a professional ballet dancer, performing with such companies as Pittsbugh Ballet and New York City Opera Ballet. Of the latter, he laughing quips, “When Beverly Sills and I performed together in the same production, we always got a standing ovation!

“Ron’s keynote address entitled “Finding Our Place” will discuss what the history of gay people in religion tells us about who we are as men who love men.