NZ researchers argue Jesus may have suffered sexual abuse

sexual abuse

A study published earlier this month by two theologians resident in  New Zealand suggests that Jesus himself was a victim of sexual abuse.

Dr Rocio Figueroa Alvear is a Peruvian theologian currently lecturing in systematic theology at Good Shepherd College in Auckland and an external researcher at the Centre for Theology and Public Issues at Otago University.

Professor David Tombs is the Professor of Theology and Public Issues, and Director, Centre for Theology and Public Issues at the University of Otago.

In the recently published study, Recognizing Jesus as a Victim of Sexual Abuse: Responses from Sodalicio Survivors in Peru, Figueroa and Tombs highlight the reactions of eight victims of sexual abuse within the Sodalitium Christianae Vitae in Peru to the idea of Jesus as a victim.

Figueroa’s and Tombs’ research, part of which explored the Gospels, revealed Jesus did, in fact, endure some sort of sexual humiliation during his arrest, trial and ultimate crucifixion.

Figueroa stressed that there is a difference between sexual humiliation and sexual assault.

While both are considered abuse, “there are different forms of abuse” including both sexual humiliation, which includes forced nudity, mockery, stripping or touching, and sexual assault, when the physical act takes place.

Figueroa, a sexual abuse survivor herself, has reached the conclusion that the concept that Jesus himself was a victim of sexual abuse was something survivors who participated in her study said could be helpful for the Church.

Referring to the small number of victims included in the study, Figueroa said it was “not a quantitative study, but a qualitative one”.

“We didn’t want to make general conclusions,” she said. “We wanted to go in-depth into the answers of the survivors.”

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News category: New Zealand.

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