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Reading Images of Christ: Masculinity and Homosexuality as Sites of Struggle in Popular Religious Images of Jesus

Author(s): Judith Samson

Journal: Religion and Gender
ISSN 1878-5417

Volume: 2;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 280;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: Sacred Heart of Jesus | popular religious art | divine mercy | Radio Maryja | homosexuality | masculinity

The attitude towards homosexuality has become one of the key markers of political identity. In Europe as well as in Northern America it has been used by different groups to promote their views. Especially between fundamentalist Christians and politically as well as religiously liberal people it has become a significant topic of contestation. This article argues that this struggle not only takes place on a textual, but also on a visual discursive level, in which the image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is central. An analysis of the representation of Jesus’ masculinity in this image shows that different groups, Polish fundamentalists at a pilgrimage site and liberal American producers of a satiric website, use different versions of the same image to either counter or support public acceptance of homosexuality.
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