Queer Theology, Queering the Stations of the Cross(es), Scripture

Queering the Stations of the Cross(es): Jesus is condemned to death

Jesus was condemned to crucifixion on that fateful day by the Roman Empire. Jesus disturbed the peace, ruptured the temple-industrial complex, and was not pacifying anytime soon. If we take a much-needed step back, historically, Pilate and governors before and after him condemned thousands of others too. Once  in the early first century, a Roman road was scattered with crucified Jewish bodies, hundreds of them.

One’s condemnation allows for others’ freedom. The condemnation of Jesus let another rebel-rouser go free, named Jesus Barabbas (Matt. 27:17). Just to be clear though, Jesus the Christ was guilty. He was guilty of flipping the money-changers tables in the Temple. He was guilty of teaching against/broadening the Jewish law. Yet, what about the people historically and presently who are not guilty, but are condemned? What about the Emmett Tills of the world? Or the innocent children destined in the school-to-prison-pipeline? Or those who immigrated to the US for a chance just to survive?

Jesus was condemned to a cross.
Others to hangings.
Others to lynchings.
Others to life in prison.
And others to a life of hiding.

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Lent, Queer Theology, Queering the Stations of the Cross(es), Scripture

Queering Holy Week: A Primer

For Holy Week, I will take up a new project titled, “Queering the Stations of the Cross(es).” In the last few months, beautiful artwork on LGBTQ Stations have emerged; as well as a specifically Trans-queering the Stations of the Cross. These are wonderful additions to the Christian imagination surrounding Holy Week and the Stations. For my project, I want to broadly define queer and find more ruptures in the text and tradition that include, but are not limited to LGBTQQIAAP+ theory/theology. For this reason, I am using David Halerpin’s definition of queer,

“by definition, whatever is at odds with the normal, the legitimate, the dominant. There is nothing in particular to which it necessarily refers… ‘Queer’…demarcates not a positivity but a positionality vis-à-vis the normative—a positionality that is not restricted to lesbians and gay men” (p. 62).

In other words, queer destabilizes all sense of norms. It does this not for its own sake; rather, for a clearer (queerer) sense of the world we live in. Presently, essences categorize and suffocate the Earth (nature, animals, who gets to rule) and humanity (heteronormativity, racist perceptions). Just as one’s eye color differs from another, so do our tastes, sexualities, epistemologies, and much more. Queering disrupts the status quo and brings discomforts us. Isn’t this what religion attempts to do or at least certain movements of it?

The season of Lent, especially the Stations of the Cross, needs queering. Sacrificing meals or praying once a day comforts one’s spiritual life. Problematizing and queering the stations of the cross invites us to see our tradition with fresh eyes.

So won’t you please join me in “Queering the Stations of the Cross(es)”? 

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Beliefs, Christainity, Justice, LGBTQI+

Theological queerness is not simply a question of queer theology disrupting ‘mainstream’ theology; rather, all theology is somehow simultaneously strange, weak and marginal, and potently disruptive of a mindset which says it is possible to comprehend (or encompass) all the mysteries of the universe. Gerard Loughlin comments,

“Even when theology was culturally dominant it was strange, for it sought the strange; it sought to know the unknowable in Christ, the mystery it was called to seek through following Jesus. And of course it has always been in danger of losing this strangeness by pretending that is has comprehended the mystery, that it can name that which is beyond all names” (Loughlin 2008, p. 144)

[Passage from Susannah Cornwall, Controversies in Queer Theology, 2011, pgs. 28-29]

Paul

unknowing and theological queerness

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