A dean at the University of Cambridge in the UK came to the defense of a junior research fellow whose sermon last Sunday about Jesus Christ having a “trans body” reportedly left outraged congregants “in tears.”
Dr. Michael Banner, the dean of Trinity College, said Joshua Heath raised “legitimate” speculation in his Evensong sermon, during which the researcher claimed from the pulpit of Trinity College chapel that non-erotic portrayals of Jesus’ penis in historical paintings “urge a welcoming rather than hostile response towards the raised voices of trans people,” according to The Daily Telegraph.
“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,” Heath said.
Heath, whose PhD in theology was supervised by the former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, also claimed that in one of the Medieval paintings he displayed to the congregation, the spear wound in Jesus’ side “takes on a decidedly vaginal appearance.” In another, he pointed out how the blood from his side flows to his groin.
Heath’s homily during the traditional Anglican service left many in attendance, including children, “visibly uncomfortable,” according to an anonymous congregant who fired off a complaint letter to Banner. Shouts of “Heresy!” reportedly rang out in the church as incensed worshipers left in disgust.