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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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Sexual Desire, Divine Desire; Or, Queering the Beguines

Sexual Desire, Divine Desire; Or, Queering the Beguines

(p.119) Sexual Desire, Divine Desire; Or, Queering the Beguines
Toward a Theology of Eros

Amy Hollywood

Fordham University Press

A number of literary and cultural scholars have recently turned to texts by or about women to uncover possible homoeroticism within the metaphoric structures of women's own writings or in the practices ascribed to women or female characters within male- and female-authored literary and religious documents. Karma Lochrie, for example, looks to a number of medieval devotional texts and images in which Christ's bloody side wound becomes a locus of desire. Lochrie argues that the complex interplay of gender and sexuality in medieval texts and images effectively queers simple identifications of sex, gender, and/or sexuality. Caroline Walker Bynum insists on the feminization of Christ, providing a locus for female identification with the divine as well as protecting the divine-human relationship from even metaphorical sexualization. This chapter explores the fascinatingly fluid, culturally transgressive erotic subjectivities emerging in the recorded visions of female medieval mystics Mechthild of Magdeburg, Hadewijch, and Marguerite Porete, who represent themselves, respectively, as a bride of Christ, a knight errant in love, and a female Soul seeking erotic union with a feminized divinity.

Keywords:   Karma Lochrie, Mechthild of Magdeburg, Hadewijch, Marguerite Porete, mystics, gender, sexuality, homoeroticism, feminization, Christ

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