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Toward a Theology of ErosTransfiguring Passion at the Limits of Discipline$
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Virginia Burrus and Catherine Keller

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780823226351

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: March 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fso/9780823226351.001.0001

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Sexing the Pauline Body of Christ: Scriptural Sex in the Context of the American Christian Culture War

Sexing the Pauline Body of Christ: Scriptural Sex in the Context of the American Christian Culture War

Chapter:
(p.65) Sexing the Pauline Body of Christ: Scriptural Sex in the Context of the American Christian Culture War
Source:
Toward a Theology of Eros
Author(s):

Diana M. Swancutt

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fso/9780823226351.003.0004

American Christians have writ the modern ideological hegemony of the two-sex model (that humans naturally come in two genetic sexes) into the corpus of scripture, controlling both its meaning and the terms by which morally legitimate sex is determined. This chapter “outs” the unsettlingly androgynous and queerly erotic body of Christ harbored within the Pauline corpus, thereby implicitly challenging Anders Nygren's representation of the apostle Paul as the poster child of an agapically asexual theology while also explicitly challenging more contemporary invocations of Paul that support the oppressive politics of heterosexism. The chapter argues that the inscription of the two-sex model into scripture as a warrant for heterosexuality is destabilized at its scriptural foundation in the Pauline corpus. Paul depicted the Christian practice of communal sex, seminally incarnated in the androgynous body of Christ, as disruptive of stable gender identities.

Keywords:   Paul, Christ, American Christians, scripture, two-sex model, Anders Nygren, heterosexism, asexual theology, communal sex, heterosexuality

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