Monday, April 14, 2008

The Queerness of Jesus' Body: modern TEC doctrine

Peter Toon

Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Mass, lists this course for its June 2008 Term. (EDS trains future Episcopal clergy, and where I was a guest lecturer there when John Booty was aa professor there in the 1980s.)

the link is:

T 3150 Queer Incarnation
7:00-9:00 pm
The incarnation is sometimes presented as an arithmetic problem: What do you get when you add some divinity to a human body? But thinking about incarnation has to start much further back, in the realization that accounts of Jesus show us how little we understand about either divinity or bodies, much less about how bodies can show, act, and becomes divine. Just here and theology of the incarnation can learn from works of queer theory and the writings of queer thinkers. The body of Jesus- despised, de-sexed, and yet miraculously distributed- invites us to an exchange of bodies along the margins of human power and its certainties. We will think about the queerness of Jesus? body with the help of some traditional texts on incarnation and passion (Athanasius, Bonaventure, Aquinas, Julian) and much more recent work on gender performance, bodily transition or transformation, and the rituals of camp.

Another EDS page,

explains that their worship 'draws on the Book of Common Prayer, but also incorporates inclusive and expansive language liturgies...'

The Episcopal Church has been talking about creating such liturgies for many years, beginning with its 1979 Prayer Book where the process began in earnest, but it got bold in doing so in the 1990s.

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