We already know that Supernatural is a bodice ripper for men, but when combined with the fact that metanarratively, Dean is god, it makes for a more interesting reading about the violence constantly inflicted on the three leads (more specifically, Dean, in this instance).
Why do we often see Dean on his knees, bloody and broken? Because he is the Eucharist. The Bread must first be broken before it is shared and ultimately, consumed.
While both Sam and Dean function as Christ parallels, they highlight different things about the Christ narrative. Sam is Christ because he must be sacrificed, and Dean is Christ because he must be consumed.
Sam's story focuses more on the breaking of The Bread, the spilling of the blood, the killing of The Lamb, the sacrificial aspect of the Christ narrative and the purification that it entails. Sam is important for the fact that he bleeds. (See: Sam's Hell trauma, the Heaven Trials)
Dean's story focuses more on the eating of The Bread, because he IS The Bread. We joke all the time about the fact that Dean is so consumable, both in the media sense (by virtue of SPN being a media product to be consumed, plus the fact that Dean is malleable: he is "THEE most character," he allows so many readings because he is made for The Gaze), and in the bodily sense (because Jensen Ackles is one of the most objectified celebrities in fandom history). Dean is important for the fact that he is consumable.
The show wants to constantly remind us of the fact that Dean is both A Body (hence, the eroticized violence and objectification) and THE Body (e.g. being the Michael Sword, the bearer of the Mark of Cain, and other ways of framing his body as Special).
Cas, surprisingly enough, functions as the proxy for The Gaze, may it be our Gaze, the Male Gaze, the Gaze of the authorfathergod, or others. (See: All the links in the "made for The Gaze" line above. Or just go to @autisticandroids for the main texts; this post is just a supplementary reading for the desticule meta syllabus.) The Abstracted Gaze functions here as the Gaze that both inflicts the bleeding and devours the body. The Gaze is violent and hungry, because gazing IS consumption ("to look at something and eat it are the same act").
The Winchester brothers, therefore, function as parallels to the Body and Blood of Christ in the most fucked up, erotically violent ways possible, while Cas allows us to enter their world as an Abstracted Voyeur to witness the breaking and eating of the Eucharist. (Which shouldn't be surprising, given the incredibly carnal nature of Christian theology and the fact that Supernatural is a show about the erotics of violence.)
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do you have any resources on christian speakers of color? im reconnecting with my faith after years of negligence and with knowledge of social justice acquired in recent years ive sought to hear out their perspectives as well. thank you kindly & i hope you have a wonderful day!
Hello, yes!! Hearing from Christians of color is essential to any Christian’s theology, so good on you for seeking them out.
First off, there are the amazing folks at the Black Trans Prayer Book, who have an event coming up very soon that i am super pumped for:
On Saturday, January 16, 4 - 6pm EST, the co-directors of the Black Trans Prayer Book are holding a workshop on the direct connections between white supremacy, transantagonism and religious violence -- learn more and register here on eventbrite. (It’s free if you’re a TQPOC, pay as you can if otherwise)
Alongside those folks, below are some more of my faves. You’ll notice that the majority are Black Christians -- so I could use more recs for Christians of color who are Indigenous, Latine, Middle Eastern, Asian, etc....
Christians of color who are no longer alive:
Howard Thurman (highly recommend Jesus and the Disinherited)
James Cone (highly recommend The Cross and the Lynching Tree, God of the Oppressed, or shorter essays)
Gustavo Gutiérrez (one of the founders of liberation theology in Latin America)
I’ve read an essay by Arvind P. Nirmal, a Dalit theologian, that was transformative for me
Richard Twiss (Native American -- Sicangu Lakota Oyate. One Church, Many Tribes is one of his books; you can also find lectures and stuff from him on YouTube)
Christians of Color who are alive and active WITH BOOKS:
Wil Gafney (A Womanist Midrash)
Kaitlin B. Curtice (her book Native brings me so much life)
John Swinton, Black Scottish disability theologian
Pamela Lightsey! (Our Lives Matter: A Womanist Queer Theology)
Dominique DuBois Gilliard (see Rethinking Incarceration)
Drew G.I. Hart (Trouble I’ve Seen)
Esau McCaulley (Reading While Black: African American Biblical Interpretation as an Exercise in Hope)
Michael Ray-Mathews and Marie-Clare P Onwubuariri (Trouble the Waters)
Patrick S. Cheng (Rainbow Theology)
Jione Havea (Pacific Islander. I’ve only read this one essay on Jonah but i think about it all. the. time.
Christians of Color with lots to say on social media, or with videos, podcasts, etc. (some of these folks also have books btw)
Enrique Cintrón! (Social media; podcaster; find my interview with them here)
Rev. Broderick Greer (queer Black Christian)
Rev. Jacqui Lewis - Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, website
Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II - Twitter, Facebook
Judy Wu Dominick 吳曉青 - Twitter, website
Jeff Chu 朱天慧 - Twitter, Facebook, website
Angie Hong - Twitter, Website
Bree Newsome Bass - Twitter, website
Adrian L. H. Graham - Twitter, Facebook
Crystal Cheatham - Twitter, website
Austin Channing Brown - Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, website
Daniel José Camacho - Twitter, website
Rev. Dr. Neichelle Guidry - Twitter, Facebook, website
Dr. Monica A. Coleman - Twitter, Facebook, instagram, website
Finally, some more resources from my masterpost of resources for white Christians (and others) who want to be anti-racist:
This list of 5 podcasts by and for Christians of color
List: Womanist Theology books
List: of Asian American Theologians - links to their blogs, books, and more
List: A Latinx Theology Reading List
List: “23 Latin American Women and USA Latinas in Theology and Religion You Should Know About”
Rescuing Jesus: How People of Color, Women, and Queer Christians Are Reclaiming Evangelism
Anyone have other recs?
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