University of Lausanne BiBIL
  Institut romand des sciences bibliques
  Biblical Bibliography of Lausanne - BiBIL
Administration Contact Impressum  
Notice details
Bibil Identifier bibil:210364
Publication Type Journal article
Title (English, Long) Bobbittizing God
Title (English, ) On the Importance of the Divine Genitals Remaining Unmanageable
Author Culbertson, Philip
Journal The Bible and Critical Theory (Volume: 5, Issue: 1)
Year (Publication) 2009
Year (Original (1st Edition)) 2009
Year (Copyright) 2009
Year (Reference) 2009
Year (Second publication) 2009
Language English
Pages 1-14 Pages
Genre Original
Abstract Eilberg-Schwartz’s “seminal” book, God’s Phallus, tapped into an unexplored anxiety about how we can call God “He” when we aren’t sure whether God has male genitals, since we have no textual evidence from the Bible to support the patriarchal masculine metaphors. Eilberg-Schwartz published his work (1994) prior to the impact upon theology of Butler’s Gender Trouble (1999) and Undoing Gender (2004), which argued, by inference, for the disconnection between genitals (e.g., phallus) and gender (e.g., masculinity). Butler’s theories offer a way through Eilberg-Schwartz’s phallic anxiety, but I had to find how to ground these theories in my personal experiences before I could grasp the possibilities of simply not caring whether or not God has genitals.
After encapsulating the theories of Eilberg-Schwartz and Butler, and noticing how Freud himself disconnects desire from genitals, I track the character development of an Auckland drag queen called Ophelia Sphincta, as she learned to separate her biological sex from her performed gender. I then muse upon an article I co-authored recently with a Samoan minister, in which we explored new metaphors for speaking about God, based on the Samoan third-gender called fa’afafine. The underlying tone of this presentation is my continuing frustration at the church’s lack of productive creativity in dealing with gender and the Divine, even after thirty years of feminist scholarship in Bible.
DOI 10.2104/bc090005
Keywords Thesaurus BiBIL : Unbound Keywords : Gender Studies
Thesaurus BiBIL : Old Testament (Introduction) : Theology : Themes : Sexuality
Last modification 2017-10-27