#MeToo Jesus: Jesus as Victim of Sexual Abuse

On 16 January 2018, Dr Jayme Reaves (Public theologian, Dorset) and Professor David Tombs (University of Otago) delivered the joint paper “#MeToo Jesus: Why Naming Jesus as a Victim of Sexual Abuse Matters”, a Shiloh Project lecture at the University of Sheffield.


The #MeToo hashtag and campaign created by Tarana Burke in 2007 and popularized by Alyssa Milano in October 2017 has confirmed what feminists have long argued on the prevalence of sexual assault, sexual harassment and sexually abusive behaviour. It has also prompted a more public debate on dynamics of victim blaming and victim shaming which contribute to the silences which typically benefit perpetrators and add a further burden to survivors. As such, the #MeToo movement raises important questions for Christian faith and theology. A church in New York offered a creative response in a sign which adapted Jesus’ words ‘You did this to me’ in Mt 25:40 to read ‘You did this to #MeToo’. This presentation will explore the biblical and theological reasons for naming Jesus as a victim of sexual abuse drawing on earlier work presenting crucifixion as a form of state terror and sexual abuse (Tombs 1999). It will then discuss some of the obstacles to this recognition and suggest why the acknowledgement nonetheless matters. It will argue that recognition of Jesus as victim of sexual abuse can help strengthen church responses to sexual abuses and challenge tendencies within the churches, as well as in wider society, to collude with victim blaming or shaming.

For further reading, see David Tombs, ‘Crucifixion, State Terror, and Sexual Abuse’ in Union Seminary Quarterly Review (1999).


Carolyn Osiek on Women Disciples, Leaders, and Apostles: Mary Magdalene’s Sisters

On July 22, 2011, Professor emerita Carolyn Osiek (Brite Divinity School) delivered a lecture at Boston College School of Theology and Ministry Continuing Education: “Women Disciples, Leaders, and Apostles: Mary Magdalene’s Sisters”.

Barbara Reid on Mary Magdalene and the Women Disciples in the Gospel of Luke

On July 21, 2017, Professor Barbara Reid (Catholic Theological Union at Chicago) delivered the lecture for the 9th Annual Mary of Magdala Celebration, at Boston College School of Theology and Ministry Continuing Education: “Mary Magdalene and the Women Disciples in the Gospel of Luke”.

Click here for a transcript of this presentation.

Sharon Keller: Sex, Magic, and Death in the Hebrew Bible

Dr Sharon Keller (Hofstra University) delivers talks on Sex, Death, and Magic. The lecture was part of the Orange County Community Scholars Program (OCCSP), podcasted January 5-31, 2016.

The talks are available in m4a audio format:


Amy-Jill Levine on The Carpenter, Gender, and Sexuality: The 42nd Annual Antoinette Brown lecture

Professor Amy-Jill Levine (Vanderbilt Divinity School) delivered the 42nd Annual Antoinette Brown lecture on March 31, 2016, at Benton Chapel, Vanderbilt University Divinity School. The lecture also celebrates the 20th anniversary of the Carpenter Program in Religion, Gender, and Sexuality.

Levine’s lecture was entitled “The Carpenter, Gender, and Sexuality: The Use and Abuse of the Gospels in Politics and Piety”. Her lecture looks at what the Bible teaches about rape, adultery, and women’s sexual pleasure. She also discusses the contemporary deployment of the Bible as a weapon: contemporary interpretations of the Bible which result in people dying, such as condemnations of homosexuality and abortion, and domestic abuse. Lastly, she examines the roles and authority of women in the Bible.

The lecture begins at 9:00.

Benjamin Dunning on Universalism in the Philosopher’s Paul and Sexual Difference


Professor Benjamin Dunning presents a lecture on Paul’s universalism, the embodied human, and recent philosophical engagement with Paul by figures such as Stanislas Breton, Giorgio AgambenAlain Badiou, and Slavoj Žižek. The lecture is entitled “Christ Without Adam: Subjectivity and Sexual Difference in the Philosopher’s Paul”, and is based on his 2014 book of the same title.

Benjamin Dunning discusses his book, Christ Without Adam: Subjectivity and Sexual Difference in the Philosopher’s Paul. Trained in early Christianity as well as critical and feminist theory, Professor Dunning is especially interested in furthering the conversation between the history of Christianity, philosophical theology, and contemporary theories of the subject.

Lauren Berkun – “Eshet Hayil: Women Warriors in the Jewish Tradition”

Rabbi Lauren Berkun discusses the motif as women as warriors and saviours in the Hebrew Bible. In so doing, she applies Mary Douglas’s analysis of the body and its boundaries as symbolic of the body politic. The lecture was delivered at the Shalom Hartman Institute, Jerusalem, Israel, July 1, 2014.


Barbara Rossing: Meeting Paul Again for the First Time


Dr Barbara Rossing provides a series of lectures on Paul, entitled “Meeting Paul Again for the First Time”, delivered in August 2000 at the Holden Village, which are available on mp3 audio files: