Jesus Was Breastfed

This weekend I delivered the opening Plenary address at the annual CAPS conference. The title of the talk was Unclean: The Psychology of Purity and Defilement. If you followed my series on Purity & Defilement (see the sidebar) you'll be familiar with a great deal of what I spoke about.

One of the things I talked about was my research regarding Incarnational ambivalence, why some Christians are uncomfortable with imagining a fully human Jesus. For these Christians, the notion that Jesus participated in basic metabolic functions, experienced sexual desire, or suffered illness is scandalous and blasphemous.

Two years ago I shared some of this research at a gathering of researchers at Biola University. At CAPS this weekend, Jamie Aten (who teaches at the University of Southern Mississippi), told me that after my presentation at Biola he went home and shared some of my work on Incarnational ambivalence with this wife. She, apparently, was inspired by the research to make a t-shirt that said "Jesus was breastfed."

I asked Jamie what kind of response his wife has received about the t-shirt. For the most part, Jamie said, people loved it. But, as my research suggests, some Christians have found the t-shirt scandalous and inappropriate. Most likely, I'm guessing, from the erotic undertones. "Jesus" shouldn't be in the same sentence as "breast."

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4 thoughts on “Jesus Was Breastfed”

  1. When my wife and I lived in England, we took the official tour of York Minster (Cathedral) on one of our many visits. The tour guide pointed out some decorative features that had been destroyed in the 1800s by a ceiling fire. Those fine Victorians replaced all those medieval symbols with identical replicas, except the one showing Mary breastfeeding Jesus. That one, we observed with binoculars, had been replaced by Mary bottle-feeding Jesus...

  2. Jesus was in a uterus and nourished by amniotic fluid and an umbilical cord. I can't imagine breast feeding being any worse.

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