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BJU and Me: Queer Voices from the World’s Most Christian University edited by Lance Weldy

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It takes guts to call any university the “world’s most Christian.” There is and has been a lot of competition for that title, but I will admit that BJU (Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina) is a contender. In the 1960s it was one of the campuses that I was kicked off of for trying to organize against the Vietnam War there. The author of this book was a queer student there and has here collected the recollections of nineteen other students at BJU who now – and for some also then – identify as queer. This book starts with an overview of Bob Jones University. Then each of five parts of this book  - for example, “Surveillance, Control, and Rumors” and “Family, Guilt, Shame,” has an introduction of a few pages, and each of the autobiographical essays starts with a short blurb that provides an introduction to its substance. “BJU and Me is such an important and timely text, one that offers a captivating read, a diversity of experiences, and an insider knowledge of a prominent, often-inaccessible context.” -- Tony E. Adams. “The text, through the various autoethnographies, clearly presents the complexities and multiple viewpoints about what it means to live under such an oppressive cloud. Most importantly, the authors tell the stories of how they became free of that cloud.” -- Stephanie Mitchem. The author is a professor of English at Francis Marion University.  

Athens: The University of Georgia Press, 2022. 347 pages with a Bibliography and Glossary of BJU terms. Trade paperback.