One of the refreshing characteristics of contemporary global Christianity is the recovery of balance in certain aspects of Christian life and thought. Features subjugated by the dominant Western Tradition re-appear to renew and transform. These include welcome affirmations of the God of life, women, children, 'ordinary people' and their lives and work, and the importance of the heart, creation and material existence, the body of Christ as all of us and the living Spirit of God. This is notably seen in many crosses fashioned in less powerful places which do not dwell lugubriously on death, pain and sin (like so much of Western tradition, not least that shaped by the Reformation era's obsession with mortality and finitude) Instead, in the colours and contours of different contexts, we find crosses becoming signs and places of resurrection: trees of life for and by the marginalised. This does not, of course, do away with what is valuable in such Western Tradition. Yet this shift towards an ethic of natality and flourishing is a great blessing for our world, recovering much that was lost. These few pictures in this slideshow (below) are just some: reflecting the dynamism, hope and down-to-earth realities of Latin America and Indigenous Australia: including a girl's cross; a women's cross; a family cross; the body of Christ today cross; and last supper of many nations.
Lovely this week to receive copies of the recent book 'This is my body: hearing the theology of transgender Christians'- a welcome boost for transgender Christians (and for transgender people in general in changing awareness). Edited by Anglican priest and hospital chaplain Christina Beardsley and writer, lecturer and advocate Michelle O'Brien, this includes contributions from many associated with Sibyls, the UK based confidential spirituality group for transgender people & allies. It marks an important step forward for visibility of transgender Christians and transforming Christian negativity. For as another notable Anglican transgender priest, Rachael Mann, puts it, this 'announces the growing confidence of trans Christians and our refusal to be treated as second-class and welcome under sufferance.' Of course there is a long way to go, but it is an insightful and readable contribution to the journey.
Jo Inkpin an Anglican priest, trans woman, theologian and justice activist. These are some of my reflections on life, spirit, and the search for peace, justice and sustainable creation.