Members of His Body

Shakespeare, Paul, and a Theology of Nonmonogamy

Reddit icon
e-mail icon
Twitter icon
Facebook icon
Google icon
LinkedIn icon
Will Stockton
  • Bronx, NY: 
    Fordham University Press
    , May
     2017.
     188 pages.
     $25.00.
     Paperback.
    ISBN
    9780823275519.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.
Review coming soon!

Review by William Smith, III forthcoming.

Description

Building on scholarship regarding both biblical and early modern sexualities, Members of His Body protests the Christian defense of marital monogamy. According to the Paul who authors 1 Corinthians, believers would do well to remain single and focus instead on the messiah's return. According to the Paul who authors Ephesians, plural marriage is the telos of Christian community. Turning to Shakespeare, Will Stockton shows how marriage functions in The Comedy of ErrorsThe Merchant of VeniceOthello, and The Winter's Tale as a contested vehicle of Christian embodiment. Juxtaposing the marital theologies of the different Pauls and their later interpreters, Stockton reveals how these plays explore the racial, religious, and gender criteria for marital membership in the body of Christ. These plays further suggest that marital jealousy and paranoia about adultery result in part from a Christian theology of shared embodiment: the communion of believers in Christ.

In the wake of recent arguments that expanding marriage rights to gay people will open the door to the cultural acceptance and legalization of plural marriage, Members of His Body reminds us that much Christian theology already looks forward to this end.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Will Stockton is associate professor of English at Clemson University.

Add New Comment

Reading Religion welcomes comments from AAR members, and you may leave a comment below by logging in with your AAR Member ID and password. Please read our policy on commenting.

Log in to post comments