Chapter

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

Diana M. Swancutt

in Toward a Theology of Eros

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print January 2007 | ISBN: 9780823226351
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823236718 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5422/fso/9780823226351.003.0004

Series: Transdisciplinary Theological Colloquia

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

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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

Chapter.  12861 words. 

Subjects: Christian Theology

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