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dc.contributorTombs, David John
dc.contributorSegovia, Fernando F.
dc.contributor.authorTombs, David John
dc.contributor.editorTombs, David John
dc.identifier.citationTombs, D. J. (2018). Crucifixion, State Terror, and Sexual Abuse: Text and Context (Centre for Theology and Public Issues Series). (D. J. Tombs, Ed.). Centre for Theology and Public Issues, University of Otago. Retrieved from
dc.descriptionThis is a republication of the article David Tombs, ‘Crucifixion, State Terror, and Sexual Abuse’, Union Seminary Quarterly Review, 53 (Autumn 1999), pp. 89-109 [OUR archive version]. The original text is accompanied by a Preface from the author and a Reflection from Fernando F. Segovia. The Preface and Reflection provide a context for recirculating the work twenty years after it was first presented at the International Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature in July 1998. A Spanish version of this publication is also being made available as David Tombs, Crucifixión, terrorismo de Estado, y abuso sexual: Texto y contexto, Dunedin: Centre for Theology and Public Issues, University of Otago, 2018.en_NZ
dc.description.abstractA key principle in the work of Latin American liberation theologians has been a willingness to take their Latin American social context seriously as an aid for understanding biblical texts. This paper is intended to illustrate the value of this principle by focussing on some disturbing points in the gospel accounts of crucifixion in the light of recent accounts of torture and terror in Latin America. It argues that documentation of torture and abuse in Latin American military regimes can illuminate neglected aspects of Jesus’ passion presented in the gospels. Most importantly this involves recognition that crucifixion was a form of torture that served a wider purpose than execution and was used to demonstrate the state’s power and terrorise those who might oppose it. Within this framework, one issue in the horror of Jesus torture and crucifixion which has been completely neglected in Christian tradition—the degree of sexual abuse that it involved—can be addressed honestly and openly. My central contention is that crucifixion in the ancient world carried a strongly sexual element and should be understood as a form of sexual abuse. The gospels indicate that Jesus was subjected to a high degree of sexual humiliation and was possibly a victim of sexual assault. The final part of this paper suggests the constructive purposes that the acknowledgement of this sexual abuse might serve.en_NZ
dc.publisherCentre for Theology and Public Issues, University of Otagoen_NZ
dc.relation.ispartofseriesCentre for Theology and Public Issues Seriesen_NZ
dc.rightsAttribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International*
dc.subjectLiberation Theologyen_NZ
dc.subjectState Terroren_NZ
dc.subjectSexual Abuseen_NZ
dc.titleCrucifixion, State Terror, and Sexual Abuse: Text and Contexten_NZ
dc.typeWorking Paper
otago.schoolDepartment of Theology and Religionen_NZ
dc.rights.statementThis report is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License. It may be freely copied and shared for any non-commercial purpose as long as you attribute the Centre for Theology and Public Issues, University of Otago. The article was first published as David Tombs, ‘Crucifixion, State Terror, and Sexual Abuse’, Union Seminary Quarterly Review, 53 (Autumn 1999), pp. 89-109. OUR archive version
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