chapter  2
23 Pages

QUEERING HERMENEUTICS

Let us consider these obscene images: the Queer theologian can be seen in the confessionary, strategically and sexually located in relation to the phallus of the church, but in a departing mode. Her theological engagement exposes her own longings and stories of exile to the third parties of the confession. Or this other one: the Queer theologian can be seen as putting her hands under the skirt of God, in a scene of almost Augustinian spirituality. Why Augustinian? Because it is a corporeal and intimate spirituality in which the theologian’s desires for the flesh (manifested in metaphors such as those quoted above, suggestive of S/M libidinal force) get mixed with other ultimately transcendental desires such as that for God. But in Queer Theology, that transcendental desire is a located desire, that is, a site of specific pleasure. Queer theologians are the ones who consider to what excesses God takes God’s love for humans, that is, which are God’s transgressive desires and how we have sadly tamed or limited these villainies, as Sade’s text calls them. Let us explain this. ‘Villainy’ is an interesting moral category which puts together an action considered criminal with a class connotation. A villain was a rustic villager, an evil and at the same time a poor person, and as such, is the old representation of what we could call today the dangerous stranger at our gates. By taming the

villainous vocation in theology, we have made of poverty and sexuality strangers, evil strangers. What we need to recover, paraphrasing Klossowski on ‘Sade, the Philosopher-villain’, is the theologian-villain, who can be ‘villain to the core’ (Klossowski 1995: 36), thus making political and sexual transgressions a presupposition of doing theology. For instance, as Klossowski says, prostitution only transgresses because there is a meaningful construction of the moral property of an individual body (Klossowski 1995: 39). In the same way, we could say that the theologian-villain only transgresses because there is a need to recover the possible, since our present theological order has eliminated different forms of existence in its praxis. The theologian-villain gathers her sources of theology through sexual storytelling,1 traditions of sexual (and not just gender) rebelliousness in the church and also Queer literature and even films. There is an Augustinian heart in them, in the sense that we find the presence of strange, almost Queer bodies of desire is disturbing (and disturbed) because of the way God’s presence seems to move around the stories of films from, for instance, Eliseo Subiela or Pedro Almodovar.