chapter  4
17 Pages

LIBERTINE DISCLOSURES

The Gospel and inculturation: God the Sodomite

Whenever we reflect on the Other we always need to think too about God as the ultimate Other, but also as a concrete, articulated other.1 Queer theologies reflect on the strangers at the gate of Christianity, that is the people whose life and experiences do not fit with T-Theology. However, theology works in a dialectical way, and to reflect on Queer lives always implies reflecting on a Queer God too. In this chapter we will reflect theologically on God as the sexual stranger at the gates of theology. In order to do that, we need to consider further tactics of defamiliarisation and connections: the Deleuzian concepts of deterritorialisation and reterritorialisation could also be important (Deleuze and Guattari 1990: 164). Deterritorialisation is a useful concept which helps us to perceive hints of what has been left outside the theological heterosexual spaces and moreover, what unusual ideas we can find in God and in the Trinity when we bring bisexual thinking to bear on them. This concept applies to the notion of abstracting from an original context, as for instance in moving out of an original context which has impeded not only the formation of new understandings but the creation of new links or connections amongst ideas. Reterritorialisation is then precisely that act of making new connections or re-codings of reality once an original context has been superseded (although not necessarily obliterated). These concepts can be used in a positive and subversive way. Thus God, by being free from the obligation to partake of the theological compound of heterosexuality, deterritorialised Godself by being free to walk ‘without using its hands’, or with hands free for the first time, to use a Deleuze and Guattari metaphor from A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia (1987). What can a God who suddenly may refuse to use God’s hands become? What we are asking here is how the deterritorialisation of God’s body may proceed. In this we realise that there is a task of accompaniment, or the fulfilment of an escort vocation in the Queer theologian who witnesses to the

liberated territories of being God that have suddenly been made available by an act of Contextual Theological independence, in a sort of agrarian reform, redistributing and determining new free land of Christian praxis to be given away. And God can become then a multiplicity, not an anonymous or vague multiplicity but rather an organisational principle which does not need oppositional or complementary combinations (as in heterosexual thought). That multiplicity is part of God’s change of God’s own context of behaviour but also part of God’s own becoming as an ‘affective, intensive, anarchist body that consists of poles, zones, thresholds …’ (Deleuze 1997: 131). That is, an unpredictable and random system where the Trinity may not remain as such, including its statistics (or logic of three). We are left with a God who does not belong anymore to those genealogical lists of the Scriptures, because suddenly God does not belong to the context of the procreative and therefore may be able, as Klossowski could put it, to overcome the need for recording an original model. That means also leaving behind God’s own fear of copies (Deleuze 1997: 66). God does not need anymore to be ‘the God of our fathers’ to have a bond with the people; bonds do not need to be procreatively, genitally defined and dyadic (Sedgwick 1994: 71). God can be free to experience transitions and oscillations and to become multiple may mean only one thing: to disown the name of the Father, or the name of the heterosexual dyadic family. That name of the Father installed at the centre of our divine cultural system (Sedgwick 1994: 72) needs to be recognised by Christians as a hidden presence of limitation in our hearts. This is the limitation produced by the internalisation of oppression or the affective investment we make in ideology and Heterosexual Theology alike.