Dancing Theology in Fetish Boots

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She also speaks about an "indecent Christ," whereby a kenotic Christology speaks of God self-emptying and being embodied in Christ and human sexuality. She explains that "[Jesus] has been dressed theologically as a heterosexually oriented celibate man. Jesus with erased genitalia; Jesus minus erotic body.

She wants to argue for a larger Christology which recasts Jesus in postmodern sexualities, genders, and economic locations. This is a critique she had against Latin American liberation theology, which she understood as failing to address questions of gender and sexuality alongside the question of conquest and colonization of the Americas.

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Marcella Maria Althaus-Reid. Rosario, Santa Fe , Argentina. Edinburgh , Scotland. Herald Scotland.

Books by or about Marcella Althaus-Reid

Retrieved 2 November School of Divinity, University of Edinburgh. London: SCM Press. Indecent Theology.

She also writes on gender, relationships and politics. Her arguments and language can be quite difficult to follow at times but her ideas are fresh, daring, provocative and exciting! She even writes briefly about the leather community in here and how they can understand God to be the Ultimate Switch. Jennings, Theodore W. Talvacchia ed. Peterson, Thomas V. Both are a good balance of readability and accuracy and are both good for study and devotional purposes.

Another really useful resource is Common Prayer for Ordinary Radicals which is a liturgy resource complied from people of many different denominations with a particular emphasis upon Social Justice Issues. Share this: Twitter Facebook.

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Like this: Like Loading Leave a Reply Cancel reply Enter your comment here Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:. Email required Address never made public. Name required. Search for:. Vanessa is accused of witchcraft, and through her influence Christian undergoes a total change of mind, which will lead to his demise. Two major and very recognisable Christian images bracket the film.

Thus Christian is shown as a true Christ, the One who fights for justice and compassion but is misunderstood and vilified by the crowd, turned into a lynch mob. And just as Christian becomes Christ, Vanessa is turned into Mary Magdalene crying at the feet of the cross.

There are other Christian images statues and paintings recurring in the film, one of which is particularly significant for my interpretation. Immediately afterwards, another victim of Cumberland is brought into the room after having been tortured and is held by her arms exactly in the same position as the body of Jesus on the cross.


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Thus, although the character of Christian is the one that is more clearly identifiable as Christ, this other brief moment easily creates a connection in the mind of the viewers between Jesus on the cross and the victims of the witch hunters. The play on words here is inevitable. It is indeed strongly suggested, even imposed. The fact that, in our object of study, ecclesiastical and civil authorities behaving very cruelly are portrayed as Christian does not mean at all that the film itself expresses anti-Christian or anti-religious sentiments. On the contrary, at least since the eleventh century, with the Patarines movement, Western Christians have decried the behaviour of the clergy in the name of the true teachings of Jesus Christ.

Towards the end of the film, there is a scene in which Lord Cumberland pretends to pray in order to send away an annoying guard. Jesus is presented as a Jewish prophet and healer who, for reasons that we are not told, ventures into the region north of Galilee, which is mostly inhabited by non-Jews, but wants to remain incognito and does not intend to perform any healing in this region. The other character of the story, a non-Jewish woman, challenges this man of God to come to the fore and rise to the occasion. She questions why God would reserve his healing and life-giving energy only for the Jews.

Stranger in our midst: The becoming of the queer God in the theology of Marcella Althaus-Reid

The Gospel text is as follows:. Just before this episode, Jesus started to criticise received religious traditions [8] and right after it his life-parable turns bitter, as he realises that, by criticising the powers that be, he is soon going to meet his own death. In a quite similar way, the supper scene of Mark of the Devil is built upon the challenge that Vanessa brings to Christian, and more precisely to his self-understanding as a man of God. In both cases, a woman belonging to the second, vilified group questions such an assumption and, as a consequence, the man changes his own understanding and his behaviour to the extent that he will soon undergo a violent death.

In both cases, finally, the crisis is resolved by a widening of perspective and a tragic end. A more detailed version of my comparison of these two scenes can be seen in the comparative table 1.

Dancing Theology in Fetish Boots : Essays in Honour of Macella Althaus-Reid

By interpreting Christian as an alter Christus i. Moreover, the depiction of the women accused of witchcraft as innocent victims yet proud, strong and daring to the point that Vanessa becomes the leader of the revolt of the townspeople should give Mark of the Devil a feminist character very much in line with what had transpired in feminism in popular culture in the early s.

Firstly, among the people accused, tortured and executed we find one nun and one priest, who end up in the same cell praying and hoping sincerely for the afterlife on the night before their deaths. The element of martyrdom reinforces the Christian element of the plot, as again it clearly represents an internal critique of Christianity.

Secondly, the scene of the crucifixion presents a female Christ the nun: Astrid Kilian and a female Mary Magdalene the abbess: Ellen Umlauf at the foot of the cross, thus reinforcing the critique of the victimisation of women while showing a positive image of lesbian love.

Up to this point my reading has been limited to the level of symbols and plot. I have performed an abstract analysis which could severely limit the validity of my conclusions. What about the way in which women are physically depicted in these two films?

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What about the showing of their naked bodies being tortured or to a much lesser extent enjoying sexual pleasure? The so-called exploitation element of Mark of the Devil and the sequel raises obvious questions and could be deployed for invalidating the reading that I have presented above. It is generally believed that exploitation movies adopt Christian imagery simply because it is recognisable by the viewers, without caring at all about its religious meaning and turning Christian symbols upside down in parody.

Dancing Theology in Fetish Boots: Essays in Honour of Marcellla Althaus-Reid

While this might be true in general, I believe that I have already shown that it is not the case for the two movies that I am analysing. And can a work of art can be considered Christian when it insists on making the connection between Christianity and images of torture and sexualised violence?

Images of the punishments of hell, external wall of the chapel of St. Stephen, Giaglione Turin , Italy, anonymous painter, late fourteenth century.

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