Tuesday, June 09, 2015

New seminary course covers queer Christ in art

“Queering Christ in Image and Text” will be taught this summer at Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, California.

It is probably the first time that an entire seminary course has focused on the queer Christ in visual art.

The intensive course will be taught July 27-31 by Justin Tanis and Jay Emerson Johnson. Early registration is encouraged.

The required textbook for their ground-breaking course is “Art That Dares: Gay Jesus, Woman Christ, and More” by Kittredge Cherry.

Tanis is director of PSR’s Center for Gay and Lesbian Studies in Religion and Ministry. His scholarly interests include theology as expressed by LGBT visual artists, which is the basis of his PhD studies at the Graduate Theological Union. He is the author of “Trans-Gendered: Theology, Ministry, and Communities of Faith.”

Johnson is an Episcopal priest and lecturer in theology and culture at PSR. He coordinates the school’s Certificate of Sexuality and Religion and Certificate of Spirituality and Social Change programs. His mos recent book is “Peculiar Faith: Queer Theology for Christian Witness.”

Here is the official course description:

“Who do you say that I am?” Matthew’s Jesus asked that question of his disciples (Mt 16:15). Many different answers in multiple theological approaches have emerged over the centuries since then. The question itself both expands and deepens when accompanied by visual responses which depict the particularities of Christ’s body, including gender, color, sexuality, culture and more. Artists and authors can expand our sense of connection with Christ and engage critical social and theological issues. This course combines a variety of modern images and texts in an exploration of how “queer” Christ appears outside “standard” representations and how this queerness can inspire and inform movements of liberating social change. Beyond white heterosexual maleness, who do you say Jesus is?

For more info, visit:

This post is part of the Queer Christ series by Kittredge Cherry at the Jesus in Love Blog. The series gathers together visions of the queer Christ as presented by artists, writers, theologians and others.

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