Jesus Christ, Homosexuality and Masculinity in African Christianity: Reading Luke 10:1-12

In: Exchange
Masiiwa Ragies Gunda University of Bamberg Germany

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Since 1995, homosexuality has been part and parcel of public discourses in Zimbabwe. The Bible is a dominant resource, so that the Sodom narrative (Gen. 19) has become synonymous with homosexual condemnation. Interestingly, Jesus has been absent in the debate; justified by the claim that Jesus had not spoken on the subject. However, contrary to this claim, a socio-literary analysis of Luke 10: 1-12 demonstrates that Jesus may have fundamentally differed with this popular interpretation of Genesis 19. A textual analysis of Luke 10: 1-12 shows Jesus undermining dominant masculinities by de-masculinizing his followers in ways that belittle the gulf between masculinity and femininity. This article argues that to use the categories of masculinity and femininity to condemn same-sex relationships is no longer sustainable. Rather, this text can be a basis for the construction of ‘redemptive masculinities’ in Christian communities, which may provide a new platform for understanding and accepting homosexuality.

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