Michael Bernard Kelly

Michael Bernard Kelly – Portraits in Faith

Michael Bernard Kelly, our longtime friend, passed away 14 November 2020. He was an Adjunct Research Associate at Monash University’s Centre for Religious Studies, Australia. Over the past twenty years he led retreats, spoke at conferences, lectured at universities and published essays and papers in Australia, the UK and the USA. His writing and life inspired many. He is the author/presenter of The Erotic Contemplative video-lecture series; author of Seduced by Grace: Contemporary Spirituality, Gay Experience and Christian Faith (Clouds of Magellan Press); and Christian Mysticism’s Queer Flame: Spirituality in the Lives of Contemporary Gay Men (Routledge Studies in Religion).

The family and friends of Michael have issues a Call for Papers for a proposed collection of essays and reflections to be published by Clouds of Magellan; also, a call for material for an archive of Michael’s writings. More …

Two recent articles that Michael contributed to bent street:

Tribute at QSpirit by Kittredge Cherry – RIP Michael B. Kelly: Queer theologian, author and “Erotic Contemplative” teacher

Michael Bernard Kelly – Portraits in Faith – video

Tribute at the Australian Gay and Lesbian Archives – Vale Michael Bernard Kelly

Michael Kelly talks to media outside St Patrick’s cathedral, East Melbourne (photographer unknown)


The Erotic Contemplative

The Erotic Contemplative : Reflections on the Spiritual Journey of the Gay/Lesbian Christian

Michael Bernard Kelly

November 2021, A5, 218pp

ISBN: 978-0-6451935-7-2 – paperback | ISBN: 978-0-6451935-8-9 – ebook

In 1994, Michael Bernard Kelly recorded six video lectures for the Erospirit Research Institute. The Erotic Contemplative charted a spirituality for gay and lesbian Christians grounded in the contemplative, mystical traditions of the church. Dr Joseph Kramer, who commissioned the lectures, writes: “His powerful words … seemed to come straight from his heart and right into mine. I told Michael that he was offering transformative guidance, like Joseph Campbell did in his Hero’s Journey. ‘You have described the Mystic’s Journey for Gay and Lesbian Christians.’ ”

The lectures, originally released in 1995, were digitised and re-released in 2020. Now this transcription of all the lectures is published for the first time, and includes a study guide to the series prepared by Michael Kelly.

The Erotic Contemplative is the most powerful and insightful study of Gay Spirituality that I know of. I have watched ‘The Road from Emmaus’ lecture three times, and still find new riches!”
~ John J. McNeill, PhD. Author of The Church and the Homosexual

Marcus O’Donnell on The Erotic Contemplative


Seduced by Grace

Michael Bernard Kelly’s Seduced by Grace: Contemporary Spirituality, Gay Experience and Christian Faith (2007 – now out of print) was a significant early publication for Clouds of Magellan Press. Find the ebook of Seduced by Grace (2007) on Amazon and Google Play Books, and the updated paperback (see below)



Seduced by Grace – updated edition

Michael Bernard Kelly’s Seduced by Grace – Contemporary spirituality, Gay Experience, and Christian faith.

Originally published in 2007, this updated paperback edition (2021) includes all the original essays, letters, talks and reflections, but includes an updated biographical note, revisions to some out-of-date website references, and includes a letter written by Michael in 2017 and published originally in Bent Street.

‘Michael Kelly writes with great perception and poignancy of a yearning which everyone shares. A yearning for love, both physical and spiritual, a yearning for completion …’ Fiona Capp

‘These are the passionate despatches of a reporter from one of the most hostile – for gay men and women – regimes on earth: the Catholic church. Michael Kelly has come out but stayed in. His indictment of the church is stark, but his vision of what it might become has the power to move even hardened atheists …’ David Marr

‘Authentic, vulnerable … life-giving’ … Dorothy Macrae-McMahon


The Erotic Contemplative – Study Guide

The Study Guide material is now incorporated into the book version of The Erotic Contemplative.

Visit The Erotic Contemplative YouTube Channel, or Search ‘The Erotic Contemplative’ on YouTube.

The Erotic Contemplative - Michael Bernard Kelly - Study Guide

Download free pdf: The Erotic Contemplative Study Guide