The Dean of Trinity College remained adamant about one researcher’s claim concerning Jesus Christ, even though it left the majority of people in the audience upset. After Dr. Michael Banner, the Dean of Trinity College, gave a sermon where he stated that Jesus Christ was transgender, people worshipping at the church cried “heresy.” In an effort to protect his earlier claim from this week’s sermon – that Jesus had a “trans body” and wasn’t your typically gendered male–the Dean explained that the transgender perspective of Jesus is actually legitimate.
Dr. Michael Banner (seen below) concurred with junior research fellow Joshua Heath, who claimed that Renaissance and Medieval paintings of Jesus Christ often depicted the Savior with a side wound resembling a gaping vagina. Heath’s sharing of his findings about Jesus’ vagina in front of the congregation caused outrage amongst the people in attendance who were Christians and used to the idea that Jesus was a man, not a transgender individual.
Heath is studying for a Ph.D. under the watch of Rowan Williams, who was once the Archbishop of Canterbury. Heath said that the paintings of Jesus “takes on a decidedly vaginal appearance”, and it might show that Christ had a “trans body” embracing characteristics of both genders.
“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,” said the researcher.
Heath’s “trans body” point was further expressed through a 14th century painting by Jean Malouel entitled Pietà with the Holy Trinity. The art piece is now being shown at the Louvre in Paris, France. Other pieces of art that were displayed during Heath’s sermon included the 1990 work “Christs” by French artist Henri Maccheroni and a Prayer Book of Bonne of Luxembourg.
After hearing a sermon in which Jesus was described as having a “trans body,” one Christian wrote a letter to the Trinity College Dean that said:
“I left the service in tears. You offered to speak with me afterward, but I was too distressed. 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’s defense of the trans lecture, states the following: “For myself, I think that speculation was legitimate, whether or not you or I or anyone else disagrees with the interpretation, says something else about that artistic tradition, or resists its application to contemporary questions around transsexualism.”
Trinity College recently released a statement that said: “Neither the Dean of Trinity College nor the researcher giving the sermon suggested Jesus was transgender. The sermon addressed the image of Christ depicted in art and various interpretations of those artistic portrayals. The sermon’s exploration of the nature of religious art, in the spirit of thought-provoking academic inquiry, was in keeping with open debate and dialogue at the University of Cambridge.”