Christa: symbolising my humanity and my pain

Clague, J. (2005) Christa: symbolising my humanity and my pain. Feminist Theology, 14(1), pp. 83-108. (doi: 10.1177/0966735005057803)

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Since the mid-1970s, some artists have portrayed Jesus Christ in female form (sometimes referred to as the ‘Christa’). The depiction of a female Christ crucified is a particularly controversial representation that challenges theological orthodoxies and upsets the gender symbolism ingrained upon the Christian cross. The controversy and ecclesiastical censure that such works often provoke indicates the emotive power of gender subversion. This study provides a detailed account of five images of the female-Christ form in art, considers their function as theological symbols, and assesses their contribution to feminist theology. It will be suggested that the Christa offers a subversive feminist strategy of representation. And—while such representations do not remove the unanswered theological difficulties associated with divine suffering, the problem of evil and the mystery of salvation—the graphic portrayal of female suffering powerfully exposes the reality of the cross as a site of patriarchal violence.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Clague, Ms Julie
Authors: Clague, J.
College/School:College of Arts > School of Critical Studies > Theology and Religious Studies
Journal Name:Feminist Theology
ISSN (Online):1745-5189

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