Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Davinci Code and Sex

No, I haven't seen it. The movie opens this Friday, but I think I'll wait until the lines are shorter. But, I did read the book. And I've read many comments by religious leaders this week about it. Some Catholic groups are calling for a boycott of the movie; other groups are calling for an "othercott" this weekend, suggesting people in protest see any other movie to affect the ratings.

The controversy around the book and the movie centers around the role of women in the early church and Dan Brown's suggestion that Jesus had a sexual relationship with Mary Magdalene which resulted in children. The slightest suggestion that Jesus might have been sexual with another person infuriates some.

It doesn't me. Now, there is nothing in Scripture that suggests that Jesus and Mary Magdalene were an item. But other researchers like William Phipps have said that it was certainly possible that Jesus would have been married in his mid teens like other Jewish young men of the times and that his wife might have died in childbirth before we meet him again in his early thirties. (The average Jewish man was in an arranged marriage shortly after puberty and the average life span for a woman in the first century was age 25.) Others like Ted Jennings have written that Scripture suggests that Jesus was in a homoerotic relationship with the "beloved disciple."

The Councils that debated the two natures (human and divine) of Jesus in the early Christian church didn't leave records about whether they discussed his sexuality as part of understanding Jesus' humanity. But surely if Jesus was fully human, he was sexual from his birth to his death as are we all. Is there any way to know for sure if Jesus expressed that sexuality in a physical relationship with another person? There's no way to know.

What I do know is that breaking the silence about sexuality and the role of women in the church is a good thing. And if a new movie helps bring about that, that's a good thing too.


eric said...

I find it oddly amuzing that first of all, anyone is taking the book at all seriously, in that every thing I read about the author seems to indicate to me that he viewed the book as fiction.

Secondly, I find it funny that so much anger and energy are being poured into this book and it's movie by people who just a few months ago couldn't possibly understand why may in the world of Islam would be upset by some cartoons of their prophet.

That said, any book, fact or fiction, that presents women's contributions to society, either historically or current, in positive light, is a good book/movie. More so if it's a book set in the context of Jesus life.

After all, wasn't the "founder of Christianity" a woman? (In that it was a woman who was the first to declare Jesus was Risen?)

Debra W. Haffner said...

Eric, I agree. Thanks for the analogy about the cartoons -- I wish I had thought about that myself! Rev. Debra

Anonymous said...

My few cents - if Jesus Christ was truely a Son of God, as most believe, then what right do we have to decide what he SHOULD have or NOT have done?
if he weren't the Son of God, then the whole argument doesn't arise at all. Besides, can't the Son of God deserve some privacy about his life as well, just as we all do and crave for ?