crucifixion

Sex, Violence, Art, and Religion

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The vision of justice and political progress that reigns in American culture and progressive religious circles is one of restoring the individual’s dignity, which imagines the individual—even as a member of a community—as somehow whole. This vision of wholeness, however, often has to function differentially: for my wholeness to be meaningful, then someone somewhere, if only imaginatively and fantastically, has to be understood as lacking wholeness, as needing restoration.

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Wojnarowicz’s Ant-Covered Jesus: Blasphemy or Religious Art?

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It doesn’t take much to realize the main theme of A Fire in my Belly is death. More specifically, it is the vulnerability, penetrability, and perpetually possible disintegration of the human body. This fleshly mortality became especially real to Wojnarowicz in the still emerging AIDS crisis of the time. Thus, by necessity it is a deeply human and deeply religious artwork. Which does not mean these images are pleasant and easy to look at. No warm and fuzzy pop spirituality this.

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Book Burning and the Scapegoating of Islam

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Last week the nation (and much of the world) watched Terry Jones, pastor of a minuscule Florida congregation, threaten to burn copies of the Qur’an on September 11, abruptly change his mind. But while much of the media attention to this story has actually revolved around, well, the media attention itself, this is a good time to ask ourselves what it means, historically and symbolically, to burn a holy book. And what does book burning have to do with the crucifixion?

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It’s Marketin’ Time!

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When Jesus was knocked to the mat by Satan, being pounded by the elbows of sin, he did not tap out. So believes Jason David Frank, once a star on the iconic Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers, who now markets fight-wear to Christians who love the violent and sometimes bloody sport known as mixed martial arts. 

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