An Interview with Jennifer Knapp Part 2: Church, Sexuality, and Progressive Christianity
Beliefnet continues chatting with Jennifer Knapp in the second part of this personal interview.
Photo courtesy of Fairlight Hubbard and Amy M Phillips of EYE
Just 10 years ago Jennifer Knapp was the Christian music "it girl." In 2002, following her third successful album, she took a hiatus to Australia for personal reasons. She returned in 2009, shocking Christian music fans by coming out as a lesbian and shedding the Christian music label, all while maintaining her personal spirituality. Now over a year later Beliefnet caught up with her while on a break from tour stops including progressive Christian festivals. Jennifer openly discusses those shows, her new music, her sexuality, and her spirituality in this in depth interview.
So, how did you get involved with the Wild Goose Festival and progressive Christianity?
It's a little bit of an interesting story, because it's relatively unusual for me in that I was actually doing an interview for a concert through an Internet zine called The Widget Dispatches. One of the reporters there asked me if I had heard of this festival and mentioned the few of the topics and some of the people that were going, and I was like, "Oh my gosh. That sounds really awesome." And she asked me if I was interested in doing it. I didn't realize it at the time that there were quite a few people involved in that festival that I've worked with over the years in the Contemporary Christian Music industry, and so they just said, "Hey, Jennifer's available, if you want." So they called me, and we squeezed it in at the very last minute. So it was just one of those things. because I wouldn't have known that they were doing the festival since I'm not really living in Christian pop culture.
What do you mean by “Christian pop culture”?
I don't mean to make it sound like it was a pop culture kind of festival, but when you're talking about festivals like that, that are centered around religious events, I just don't really cycle in that world too much unless people are asking me to engage in it. So it was pretty fun to be able to do that and I was surprised by the event, and I ended up staying for the entire event and camping out and just hanging out with people. It really gave me a sense of what the lay of the land was, in terms of some of the people who were really trying to tackle some really progressive issues inside of Christianity.