Journal of Religious Ethics 45 (4):732-759 (2017)

The place of eros in Christian theology has always been a contested one, not least because it is positioned as being at odds with agape, the kind of love that embodies gospel ethics. Matthew 25:31–46 calls us to “feed the hungry,” “quench the thirsty,” “shelter the homeless,” “clothe the naked,” and “visit the imprisoned” as emblematic examples of agapic love. This essay shows how a queer act, specifically that of a woman breastfeeding a starving man as depicted in the tradition of Caritas Romana, can fulfill the ethical demands in Matthew's pericope. It demonstrates how the action first narrated by Valerius Maximus and then represented by Paul Peter Rubens beautifully fulfills the Matthean agapic demands, and concludes that queer practices have the potential to fulfill the gospel demands, situating the erotic at the core of the agapic.
Keywords Matthew  Queer Theory  Visual Exegesis  agape  caritas  eros
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DOI 10.1111/jore.12198
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References found in this work BETA

Sex in Public.Lauren Berlant & Michael Warner - 1998 - Critical Inquiry 24 (2):547-566.
The Structure of Love.Alan Soble - 1991 - Ethics 101 (4):867-868.
For the Love of God: Agape.Colin Grant - 1996 - Journal of Religious Ethics 24 (1):3-21.
Feeling Right.John C. Cavadini - 2005 - Augustinian Studies 36 (1):195-217.

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