Saturday, March 14th, 2015, 9:00 AM- 6:00 PM, Austrian Cultural Centre ,7/9 Prozna Street, Warsaw Austriackie Forum Kultury / Österreichische Kulturforum Warschau
09:00 AM-10:00 AM – Registration
10:00 AM-1:30 PM
prof. Gerard Loughlin: What is Queer Theology?
prof. Kalina Wojciechowska: First Human and Perfect Human as Androgyne
Enric Vilà: Centurion’s servant in Jesus’ Gospels: A queer love story?
1:30 PM-2:30 PM – Break
2:30 PM-6:00 PM
dr Michael Brinkschröder: Queer Reading of St. Paul
dr Marek Woszczek: Paul and Spectres of the Body. Queering the Ecclesiology as a Metaphysical Problem
dr Marcela Kościańczuk: Queering and queer theology – inclusive utopia or real work in progress project against discrimination?
ABSTRACTS AND THE RECORDED MATERIALS :
Prof. Gerard Loughlin (Durham University, UK)
What is Queer Theology?
‘Queer’ is a word reclaimed. Meaning ‘strange’ or ‘odd’, it became a derogatory term for homosexuals, who were deemed to be at odds with normality. Homosexuals seemed strange and perverted fellows. But non – and for some—‘queer’ has become a name for those who are proud to deviate from the norm, and for a theoretical stance that questions the possibility of the ‘norm’, the possibility of fixed and stable identities.
Queer theology is the questioning of similar ideas within Christianity, ideas about what it is to be ‘man’ or ‘woman’. But queer theology is more than this. It is also the claim that theology is already queer, strange and odd. When theology seems normal, ordinary and taken for granted, it is no longer proper theology, no longer thinking the divine. For God denies our certainties, coming to us—as the gospel tells us—in the stranger (Matthew 25:43).
Apophatic theology—the tradition that extends from the Pseudo-Dionysius to Thomas Aquinas, and beyond—perverts our easy and accepted ideas about God; and queer theology extends this by perverting our easy and accepted ideas about gender. It shows us divinity alive in the fluidity of our being, in the multitude of becomings that is the human body.
Prof. Kalina Wojciechowska (Christian Theological Academy in Warsaw, Poland)
First Human and Perfect Human as Androgyne
Genesis creation narratives (Gen 1-2) often invoke androgynous imagery that reflect an understanding of primordial unitas. Many commentaries interpreted this creation as androgynous myth: God created man and woman as one and sex differentiation is one of results of the Fall. This understanding finds its way into Christianity. Risen and exalted Christ is a perfect Androgyne and in Him every human – regardless of sex, gender and sex orientation – could once again obtain equality. The aim of this paper is to analyze texts in Gen 1-2 and Eph 2 in the light of the androgynous hermeneutic.
Enric Vilà (Faculty of Theology in Catalonia in Barcelona, Spain)
Centurion’s servant in Jesus’ Gospels: A queer love story?
Some Bible scholars and theologians last recent years reread and offer a queer perspective of the biblical Roman centurion and his son/servant’s passage at Capernaum. The author overviews the main different exegetical approaches of the episode in Synoptic Gospels of Matthew 8:5-13 and Luke 7:1-10 together with John 4: 43-54. He offers also exegetical key points of the texts within biblical framework for a hermeneutical reading. The article presents a synthetic status quaestionis of the issue and the different foundings and interpretations from scholars and their main conclusions until today.
Dr. Michael Brinkschröder (European Forum of LGBT Christian Groups, Germany)
Queer Reading of St. Paul
We are used to imagine St. Paul as the highest ranking biblical authority for Christian anti-homosexuality. But this understanding doesn’t take into consideration his intimate relationship with Jesus Christ. Starting from a painting from Caravaggio, the lecture will use Platon’s understanding of the erotic relationship between males and queer theory as hermeneutical keys to examine passages from the letters of St. Paul that have been widely ignored by exegetical researchers. As a result of this reading, St. Paul becomes a highly ambivalent figure when it comes to homoeroticism and same-sex love. Same-sex relationships are deeply embedded in the theological and spiritual tradition of the Catholic church although they have been repressed at the same time.
Dr. Marek Woszczek (Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan, Poland)
Paul and Spectres of the Body. Queering the Ecclesiology as a Metaphysical Problem
The body of Christ is perhaps one of the most theologically attractive themes of the whole Christian tradition but it is not clear how queer it might be, especially when the cherished ekklesia does not and cannot be equivalent to some healthy, complete ‘organism’ from the pagan (e.g. Platonic or Stoic) political-affective imagination. Paul has created, perhaps not fully intentionally, a grave metaphysical dilemma for the Christian theology, since the body of God is a spectral or virtual presence, and the rules of apparition for queer bodies are always ambiguous and politically not fully controllable, even dangerous. Thus, a disruptive politics is always interfering with a core of the ecclesiological assumptions and one can never be sure what does it mean to have a ‘Christian community’ on hand. What then? I claim that queering the ecclesiology always means dealing with that fully spectral dimension of the future, and that is a metaphysical concept of the infinite diversity/productivity colliding with the common apocalyptic and utopian imagination which is unfortunately infused with the demoralizing fantasies about an absolute, end-of-time unity at any cost. The queer Christian ecclesiology could be a domain of a tender, anarchist hope not caring about the latter, and the churches looking for those forlorn unities might not like it at all, in contrast to the queer metaphysics with deep Christian affects. Thus, a queer ecclesiology is also a queer metaphysics of history, which Paul seems to be at least partly aware of.
Dr. Marcela Kościańczuk (Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznan, Poland)
Queering and queer theology – inclusive utopia or real work in progress project against discrimination?
The article presents different understandings of queering and queer theology. The author presents her own idea on radical and reformist branch in queer theology to show possible advantages and disadvantages of each way of understanding term ‘queer’ and queer strategies in context of different (usually multiple) forms of experienced discriminations. The author, who situates herself rather in non-radical branch of queer theology, presents also some contemporary movements of Roman Catholic Church leaders as queer strategies which however usually don’t really change the situation of minority groups. One of queer theology main goal is in the author’s opinion deconstruct them to show revolutionary potential of the words in changed context.