The Transing of the Christ

(PJ Media) Joshua Heath, a junior research fellow at Cambridge University in England, preached a sermon at an Evensong service this past Sunday. According to Fox News, Heath made the case that Christ’s body could be seen as a trans body. He said that non-erotic portrayals of Jesus’ genitalia in works of art should be used to create a welcoming voice for trans people, not a hostile one. Heath also displayed medieval paintings of the Crucifixion, showing Christ’s side being pierced by the spear. Heath noted that the wound had the appearance of a vagina and that the blood that issued from it flowed toward Christ’s groin. The sermon contained the phrase, “In Christ’s simultaneously masculine and feminine body in these works, if the body of Christ, as these works suggest, [is] the body of all bodies, then his body is also the trans body.

While hostility has no place in the church, Heath was reaching to make his point. And it was a long stretch indeed. Many of those in attendance were offended, and some even left in tears while others shouted that Heath was committing heresy. One churchgoer wrote to Dr. Michael Banner, the dean of Trinity College, “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, 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.” Banner has come to Heath’s defense, stating that Heath raised legitimate speculation about the nature of Christ. He has also maintained that perceiving Christ’s body as both male and female could help people think about transgender issues.