Fictions can help us apprehend possibilities? I am not sure if your novel helps read the letters that Paul actually does write, which I think could sustain a ‘queer’ reading. Note that the missionary pairings Paul describes seem to be based on a brother-sister model, but many are same-sex. A later Christian fiction has Paul paired with Thecla, but he refers to the other man as the ‘brother’ in 1 Cor 1:1, Philemon 1, 2 Cor 1:1. This would make Paul the sister in the pair? He often speaks of himself in female terms (Gal 4:19, 1 Thess 2:7, 1 Cor 3:2, 2 Cor. 12:14), so that wouldn’t be unusual. I think Christian relationships are meant to be highly multivalent. Jesus says, in Matt 12:50, “ For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.” I read him as saying they can become all three.

spirituality + sexuality + stories

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