• Reading the Gospel of Thomas from Here: A Trans-Centred Hermeneutic

    Author(s):
    Journal for Interdisciplinary Biblical Studies (view group) , Melissa Harl Sellew
    Date:
    2020
    Group(s):
    Journal for Interdisciplinary Biblical Studies
    Subject(s):
    Gospel of Thomas (Coptic Gospel)
    Item Type:
    Article
    Tag(s):
    reader response, Transgender, queering Jesus, Biblical studies, Queer studies, Gospel of Thomas
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/4etz-b919
    Abstract:
    This article adopts a trans-centered approach to reading the Gospel of Thomas, in particular key statements found in Gos. Thom. 22 and 114. Treatments of gender in the gospel are discussed from the author’s position as a queer woman of transgender experience, informed by postcolonial, feminist, and gender-critical theory and practice. Literary and historical comparisons with Philo of Alexandria and the apostle Paul are explored to uncover Thomas’s worldview, which is seen to be darkly critical of the material world, while being hopeful for spiritual transformation. Though the Gospel of Thomas participates in the prevalent masculinist ideology of most literature of the day, many of its sayings may garner a new or nuanced meaning when read through a transgender lens, including especially the demand for replacement of the outer person with the inner person (Gos. Thom. 22), and potential salvation through erasure of conventional gender difference in the making of an ungendered Living Spirit resembling Jesus (Gos. Thom. 114).
    Notes:
    Journal for Interdisciplinary Biblical Studies 1.2 (Spring 2020), pages 61-96.
    Metadata:
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    3 years ago
    License:
    Attribution-NonCommercial
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