Cambridge Trinity College dean defends sermon on Jesus being 'trans,' having 'vaginal' side wound
The dean of Trinity College at the University of Cambridge defended a junior research fellow who gave a sermon leaving worshipers in "tears" after claiming Jesus had a "trans body," and that his side had a "vaginal appearance."
Trinity College Dean Michael Banner said fellow Josua Heath's sermon last Sunday "suggested that we might think about these images of Christ's male/female body as providing us with ways of thinking about issues around transgender questions today," the U.K. Telegraph reported.
"For myself, I think that speculation was legitimate, whether or not you or I or anyone else disagrees with the interpretation, says something else about that artistic tradition, or resists its application to contemporary questions around transsexualism," he said.
Referencing the 14th-century Prayer Book of Bonne of Luxembourg in his sermon with children present, Heath said the depiction of Jesus' side wound given to him by a Roman soldier, according to the New Testament, "takes on a decidedly vaginal appearance."
Heath also said non-erotic depictions of Jesus' penis in historical art "urge a welcoming rather than hostile response towards the raised voices of trans people."
He concluded the sermon: "In Christ's simultaneously masculine and feminine body in these works, if the body of Christ as these works suggest the body of all bodies, then his body is also the trans body."
"I left the service in tears. You offered to speak with me afterwards, but I was too distressed," one congregation member told Banner, according to the outlet. "I am contemptuous of the idea that by cutting a hole in a man, through which he can be penetrated, he can become a woman. I am especially contemptuous of such imagery when it is applied to our Lord, from the pulpit."