Churchgoers cried ‘heresy’ at the Dean of Trinity College as they left a sermon that claimed Jesus may have been transgender ‘in tears’.
But the view of a transgender Jesus is ‘legitimate’, according to Dr Michael Banner, the Dean who stepped in to defend the claim made at a sermon last Sunday that Christ had a ‘trans body’.
Dr Michael Banner, the Dean of Trinity College, was backing up junior research fellow Joshua Heath, who displayed Renaissance and mediaeval paintings of the crucifixion depicting a side wound that he likened to a vagina in front of the congregation.
The side wound ‘takes on a decidedly vaginal appearance’, said Heath, whose PhD was supervised by the former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams.’
“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,” claimed the researcher.
Heath used the 1400th-century painting Piet? The view of a transgender Jesus is ‘legitimate’, according to Dr Banner, with the Holy Trinity by Jean Malouel, on display in the Louvre, to illustrate his point, according to The Daily Telegraph.
French artist Henri Maccheroni’s 1990 work ‘Christs’ also appeared during the sermon, as did the Prayer Book of Bonne of Luxembourg.
In a letter to the Dean, one worshipper said: ‘I left the service in tears. Trinity College’s Dean Banner said he was ‘contemptuous of the idea that by cutting a hole in a man, through which he can be penetrated, he can become a woman’.
The letter continued: ‘I am especially contemptuous of such imagery when it is applied to our Lord, from the pulpit, at Evensong’.
Banner defended the sermon, saying: ‘For myself, I think that speculation was legitimate’.