BRONX, NEW YORK. STEPHEN PARELLI. DECEMBER 12, 2013. On Monday, November 25, 2013, at the Baltimore, Maryland, LGBT/Queer Hermeneutics Section of the Society of Biblical Literature, Rev. Dr. Thomas Hanks presented a paper in which he enumerates five areas of differences between Loader and himself on New Testament studies on humane sexuality as part of a book panel that critiqued William R. G. Loader’s “The New Testament on Sexuality.”
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Along with Tom Hanks, panelists were Ben Duning of Fordham University, Robert Gagnon of Pittsburg Theological Seminary, James E. Miller – an independent scholar, and David Tabb Steward of California State University. Each panelist presented a paper, with Miller, Gagnon, Hanks and Steward each discussing a marked discrepancy they had with one or more of Loader’s findings. Loader concluded the session by addressing objections raised.
Hanks, who in his paper says “Loader’s work [is] by far the most helpful overview of the many controversial questions regarding the interpretation of Romans 1 and related biblical texts on sexuality. However…,” enumerates and discusses five areas in which he takes exception with Loader.
Loader’s “greatest weakness,” according to Hanks, is that (1) he follows Gagnon too closely. Hanks says Loader should have “more aggressively challenged the way Gagnon’s ideology drives and distorts his exegesis (cf. James Brownson 2013).” The question to ask is “whether, how and to what extent heterosexist and homophobic presuppositions (majority propaganda) have distorted translations, exegesis and hermeneutics (for centuries, but including contemporary interpreters)” [emphasis in the original].
In addition, Hanks discuses and critiques, in the context of Loader’s writing, (2) diversity (in contrast to ‘ethical’ unity: divorce and remarriage, prostitutes, same-sex acts and other diversities), (3) “un/natural” according to Paul, (4) complimentarity, and (5) methodology in which he argues that it is “misleading to give Philo such methodological priority, rather than making Paul himself (especially all he says in Romans) the basic starting point.”
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