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Theology and Sexuality http://tse.sagepub.com/

Biblical Bodies
Gerard Loughlin Theology Sexuality 2005 12: 9 DOI: 10.1177/1355835805057784 The online version of this article can be found at: http://tse.sagepub.com/content/12/1/9

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[Theology & Sexuality 12(1) 9-28] DOI: 10.1177/1355835805057784

Biblical Bodies* Gerard Loughlin
gerard.loughlin@durham.ac.uk

Abstract The Bible is like a body. It is a whole composed of many parts, in the pages of which we find other bodies, identities which even now haunt the Western imagination. But the chief focus of this essay is the biblical body of God and its sex. It is often asserted that God has no sex, and that concern with God’s gender is beside the point. God’s sex is merely metaphorical. But if so, it is far from being a dead metaphor. God’s sex still orders human lives. But it does so from behind a veil; from behind the homophobia and misogyny of Western culture and religion. And when we draw aside the veil we find something queerer yet: the myth of a self-fecunding man without an omphalos.

The Bible is like a body. It is a whole composed of many parts, in the pages of which we find other bodies, identities which even now haunt the Western imagination: like so many dead bodies in a library. The biblical body is not singular, but many: malleable and multiform. St Paul imagined that the Christians to whom he wrote in Corinth constituted a body, whose head was Christ (1 Cor. 12.12-31)....

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