Monday, April 14, 2008

Queer Incarnation

I didn't have the stomach to investigate whether this is a required course at the Episcopal Divinity School, or merely an elective. A pox on these people and their blasphemy.

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.


Anonymous said...

T 3410 Theology of Liberating Queer MDGs
Fr 11pm - 2am

Using phenomenological reconstruction of deconstructed postmodern interpretivist readings of selected Gnostic scholia to marginalized "pseudepigraphical" gospels, we shall attempt to liberate the reimagined stories of the historical Jesus from the patriarchal paradigms of repressive premodern historical literalism. Using the seminal works of modern queer theorists, we will examine how this reconstructed Jesus' divinity lies essentially in his embracing of the liminal and rejecting of the privileged center, and how this teaches us that our holiness derives from love of self, as actualized in the passion of the homosexual 'other', and love of world, as incarnated in the MDGs. Prerequisites: Queer Theory, Feminist Theory, Intro to Environmentalism. Some rudimentary familiarity with the New Testament suggested but not required.

P 1810 Modern Pastoral Counseling, part 2
T/Th 5:00-7:00pm

The contemporary Episcopal world offers new challenges in parochial and diocesean communities. In this semester we discuss the uses of terror, propaganda, and psychological warfare against active opponents, as well as continuing our study of manipulation, desensitization, and "victim rhetoric" in cultivating communities of ignorance and apathy. Guest lecturers will include members of the local legal community, ex-Soviet KGB agents, Hollywood musical agents, and an anonymous Italian businessman from the Chicago area.


And lest you think I'm going too far afield with my two 'comic submissions above, here are some real listings from EDS. You can check this for yourself... hard as it may be to believe, I AM NOT MAKING THESE UP.

Funny how all these seminars and electives etc seem to be about homosexuality, feminism, environmentalism or liberation theology... rather than, say, "The 2nd-3rd century apologists" or "Eastern Patristic Christology" or "Medieval devotional writings" or "Anglican essays and sermons."


[HB 4260 Feminist Liberation Theologies and the Bible: Multi-Hermeneutical Approaches to Scripture and Authority]
An examination of the role(s) of the Bible in various feminist liberation theologies including womanist, mujerista, and Asian/Asian-American women's theologies with special attention to questions of authority for theological praxis.

[NT 2160 Feminist Perspectives on the New Testament]
An introduction to the reading of the New Testament from feminist perspectives, with attention given to race and class, feminist methodology, hermeneutical options, feminist methodology, feminist reconstructions of early Christianity, and God-language in the New Testament.

[L 2715 Practicing Compassion: Christian Worship and Buddhist Practice]
Buddhism is oriented toward specific practices that open the practitioner to new ways of perceiving, being, and acting in the world. Even in more belief-based Christian traditions, liturgical practices serve this same transformative function. This seminar will examine Buddhist practice as a model for discovering how liturgical worship in the Christian West is a form of transformative Christian practice

[T 2411 Eros, Sexuality, and the Spirit]
What has sexuality to do with spirituality? Why are Christians afraid of eros? Why is it difficult to talk about eros and sexuality in the church? Why are mainline denominations preoccupied with issues of human sexuality? What has the erotic to do with our spiritual practice? This course introduces recent writings on these issues, including novels, autobiographies, theological and spiritual writings.

[E 2105 The Environment, Eco-Justice, and the Christian Faith]
This course will focus on basic environmental issues confronting our planet- and the necessity of developing a bicentric view if we are to be faithful to the doctrine of Creation. But in addition to concerns for air and water quality, land pollution, and the depletion of nonrenewable natural resources, we will explore and develop the linkages between the natural environment and concerns for social justice in all areas.

[PT 3050 Understanding Queer Christian Theologies]
This course will explore LBGTQ issues from different theological and pastoral Christian perspectives. Attention will be paid to biblical and historical resources with an emphasis on contemporary discussions and debates. The class will feature a series of lectures from well known Queer theologians offering a series of evening lectures that will be open to the public. Those taking the class will meet together for additional discussion and reflection. Topics will include same sex marriage, sexual morality and ethics, the intersection of race and sexuality, queer directions in feminist theology and future directions in queer theological thought.

[CS 2030 Religion and the Media: The Ministry of Communication in Uncertain Times]
Davidge, Douglas
The role of religion as a force of division and/or reconciliation in the world (be it in the 9/11 tragedy, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, or sexual-abuse scandals in the Church) has become a central concern for the media. This practical course will help both religious leaders and media professionals to understand each other better in order to develop mutually productive and cooperative relationships. A central goal will be to equip religious leaders in particular with practical media skills and the development of a good media portfolio. This pass/fail course will be "hands on" and experiential in nature with guest presentations by both secular and religious press professionals.

[CS 2152 Global Reconciliation: Faith and the Millennium Development Goals]
Douglas, Petersen
The United Nations' Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) commit the international community to an expanded vision of international development that promotes global social and economic justice. The eight MDGs offer an agenda for Christian mission in the contemporary world even as they raise questions about civil society and development in its different formulations. This course will investigate issues of faith in relationship to the MDGs in a forum of eight weekly public presentations augmented by course discussion sections. The forum, supported by the Bread for the World Institute, will invite leading persons in development, economics, and social action from around the world to reflect on the eight goals. The course will offer a theological and missiological investigation of the nature and meaning of reconciliation in light of the relationship between human development and our most basic beliefs about life and the world, religion, and the social construction of civil society.

[CS 2600 The Church, Globalization, and the New United States Imperialism]
Douglas, Rodman
Globalization has become a central and overriding force in contemporary political, cultural, economic, and religious discourse. This intensive two-week course will seek to understand the theoretical and ethical challenges posed by globalization. The recent emergence of both Christianity as a global phenomenon and the United States as the sole "mega-power" in the world, will be considered alongside of each other as to their points of collusion and contrast. Voices from the margins of globalization will be a key resource for our theological considerations. Significant guest presentations will be included in this seminar-type course.

[PT 4400 Religious Leadership and Social Transformation]
This course will discuss the latest theories about leadership in religious organizations and congregations, as well as examine the role of religious leaders in social transformation. The course will assume that it is the purpose of the church to become a vessel of transformation. Throughout the course we will discuss several models of leadership development designed to liberate their congregations and the implication for worship, preaching, education, formation, and pastoral care.

Albion Land said...

I have to confess a little bit of curiosity -- what in heaven's name might the 'rituals of camp' be?

poetreader said...

What in HELL????!!!

I'm not being profane, but precise and theological, in asking that question that way.

Those teaching such things and labeling it "Christian" are already entering the fringes of hell, and, if they don't repent, will find on arriving fully there that they have all they were seeking, and that it is pain that doesn't cease.

I know, that's blunt, even more so than I usually am, but it's probably not as harsh as the full truth.


Albion Land said...

You are absolutely right, Brother Ed.

Theirs is a blasphemy that beggars belief. The sad thing is, I would doubt that anyone involved in the adoption/creation/teaching of this course even acknowledges the existence of something called sin, much less the need to repent thereof. I do not have much confidence in the outlook for their future in eternity.

The Auld MacLaren said...

No doubt they have a class analyzing artist Andres Serrano's "Piss Chirst", too....

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, Albion, I fear that 'rituals of camp' is what some people have been given to believe is classic Anglo-Papalist liturgy and dress sense ;-)

As to the subject descriptions that LP has quoted (the real ones), I say two things:

1. I thank God that my academic career bombed 12 years ago; and

Anonymous said...

Simply amazing that there are some
self-styled "Reasserters" who loudly claim to be orthodox Christians who insist on belonging to that Church.
I just don't get it.
Laurence K. Wells

Fr. Robert Hart said...

Wasn't it bad enough to be "ever learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth?" This sort of "education" has the potential to turn mere stupidity into advanced idiocy. It all seems designed by a master genius on how to be thoroughly stupid.

The Book of Proverbs reveals that the difference between wisdom and foolishness is essentially an issue, not of raw intelligence, but of moral quality.

poetreader said...

"The rituals of camp" -- a very familiar phrase from my "bad old days" --- It has nothing really to do with ritual in church, even in the fussiest and laciest versions.

"Camp", probabaly originating from the Nazi designation KMP for its homosexual concentration camp prisoners, has come to be a synonym for "acting gay" -- those forms of behavior and sardonic self-deprecating humor that are considered stereotypical of "the lifestyle".

To camp it up is to flaunt one's identity by emphasisizing such traits. Those who use the word "queer" as a badge of honor often enjoy acting campy.
Does that help clear that up?