The Scandal of the Cross: Sexualized Violence, Silence, and Crucifixion
Prof. David Tombs
Trinity College Dublin
4:15 p.m., Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Scheuer Room, Kohlberg Hall, Swarthmore College
St. Paul’s description of the cross as ‘a scandal’ (1 Cor. 1.23) is widely known. Christians around the world are familiar with it, and many recall it each year on Good Friday. But what exactly made the cross so scandalous and shameful? The lecture examines sexualized violence and tortures in contemporary conflicts and in the Roman world. It explains why the cross was so offensive in the first century, it suggests that the real shame of the cross has been unspeakable for two millennia, and it asks how this might be appropriately addressed in a theology which affirms human dignity.
You can read some of David Tombs’ work on the topic in an article, ‘Crucifixion, State Terror and Sexual Abuse’, that appeared in a 1999 issue of Union Seminary Quarterly Review.
David Tombs works in Belfast, Northern Ireland as Assistant Professor of Conflict Resolution and Reconciliation for the Irish School of Ecumenics, Trinity College Dublin. His primary focus is public theology and the interface of religion, violence and conflict transformation.
When Swarthmore students study in Northern Ireland as part of the College’s Northern Ireland Semester program, they study with Dr. Tombs and his colleagues at the Irish School of Ecumenics. David Tombs has been a marvelous partner for the program and works closely with Swarthmore faculty, staff, and students. His visit will provide an excellent opportunity for students who might be interested in studying in Northern Ireland the opportunity to learn more about the Irish School of Ecumenics in Belfast.
Co-sponsored by Peace & Conflict Studies, Department of Religion, Provost’s Office, Off-campus Study, The Northern Ireland Semester, Gender and Sexuality Studies