Tuesday, 4 August 2009

JENNINGS, T W: The Man Jesus Loved

Homoerotic Narratives in the New Testament
The Pilgrim Press, 2003

“In this book, my intention is to break with the defensive strategy of dealing primarily with passages that are alleged to support homophobia and gay bashing.  This strategy gives greater plausibility  than is deserved to the traditional (mis)reading of the bible.  Insead, I will focus on an examination of what is, in fact, the preponderance of the evidence: that which includes and affirms homoerotic desire and relationship.”

- Theodore Jennings, author

Jennings’ bold statement above gives one clue to why this is an important book that needs to be taken seriously.  The other is the discovery that this not one that can be simply dismissed as special pleading by a gay activist, trying to make room for himself in the Church mainstream.  Dr Jennings is professor of biblical and constructive theology at Chicago Theological Seminary and a United Methodist clergyman, and (conventionally) married man.

He is not aiming to create a special “queer reading” of Scripture, but instead to undertake a more complete, more integrated reading than is possible when accepting without justification the heterosexist assumptions that are usually taken for granted.  He reminds us that there was a time when White racist assumptions underpinned what were then widely accepted interpretations to justify slavery and White supremacy.  Rejecting those assumptions led not only to an approach which was more welcoming to other racial groups, but to a more complete understanding of the bible message. In the same way, he argues, setting aside the heterosexist and homophobic views of Scripture are necessary not merely to make it more acceptable to gays and lesbians, but to further improve its understanding for all of us. 



1. Homosexuality and Biblical Interpretation


2. The Lover and His Beloved

3. The Identity and Role of the Man Jesus Loved

4. Reconsidering the Gospel of John

5. The Hidden Tradition

6. Theological Significance


7. The Gospel of Mark

8. The Centurion’s “Lad”

9. Troubling Gender


10. The Critique of the Family

11. Marriage and Wedding Feasts

12. Sexuality and Procreation

13. Marriage, Family, an Slavery.

14. Was Jesus Gay?

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