Cambridge Dean Defends Claims Jesus Could Have Been Transgender
Dr Michael Banner, Dean of Trinity College at the University of Cambridge came to the defence of an heretical sermon delivered by a student during Evensong at Trinity College Chapel.
Joshua Heath, a junior research fellow, spoke at Evensong held on 19 November. In his address, he claimed that Jesus had a trans body and that the wound in his side looked like female genitalia. Dr Banner defended the research fellow’s statement in an interview with the Daily Telegraph.
The Daily Telegraph talked to some in attendance who said they were “left in tears” by the research fellow’s sermon and reportedly one attendee shouted “heresy” at the Dean as he left.
According to press reports, Heath used three paintings to illustrate his idea. One was Jean Malouel’s, Pieta from the year 1400.
It was reported that Heath’s conclusion said, “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.”One person who was in attendance but wished to remain anonymous shared his letter to Dean Banner with the Daily Telegraph. The person wrote, “I left the service in tears. You offered to speak with me afterwards, but I was too distressed. I am contemptuous of the idea that by cutting a hole in a man, through which he can be penetrated …
“I am especially contemptuous of such imagery when it is applied to our Lord, from the pulpit, at Evensong. I am contemptuous of the notion that we should be invited to contemplate the martyrdom of a ‘trans Christ’, a new heresy for our age.”
The anonymous worshipper also shared Banner’s response to his complaint. He was quoted as saying,“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.”
A spokesman for Trinity responded to the protest. He said, “The sermon explored the nature of religious art, in the spirit of thought-provoking academic inquiry, and in keeping with open debate and dialogue at the University of Cambridge.”