Masochism, masculinity and the crucifixion: The male -body -in -pain as redemptive figure
by Brintnall, Kent L., Ph.D., EMORY UNIVERSITY, 2007, 426 pages; 3279854


This dissertation argues that the figure of the male-body-in-pain enables a reading of the crucifixion as a repudiation of the dominant fiction of masculine subjectivity. As a corollary, it claims that the doctrine of the resurrection, understood as a moment in which the suffering male body is restored to wholeness, is an image that undermines the critical potential of the crucifixion. To illustrate these claims, the dissertation relies on a close analysis of contemporary visual representations of the male-body-in-pain—namely, the paintings of Francis Bacon, the photographs of Robert Mapplethorpe and the films of the Hollywood action genre. The chapter on Bacon focuses on his crucifixion paintings, his portraits of George Dyer and his wrestling/copulating figures. The chapter on Mapplethorpe focuses on his sadomasochistic imagery and his black nudes. The chapter on action films discusses the genre generally, with specific emphasis on the work of Mel Gibson. To establish a framework for discussing the visual artifacts, the dissertation opens with a close reading of psychoanalytic texts on masochism guided by the work of feminist film theorist Kaja Silverman. The final chapter compares the argument of the dissertation to the major proposals of Christian feminist theologians regarding incarnation, crucifixion and resurrection. The dissertation closes with a brief consideration of the work of Georges Bataille and its relation to the dissertation's central claims. The dissertation seeks to contribute to feminist theological discussions of the cross, the growing conversation between queer theory and Christian theology and the various disciplines that take visual artifacts as their subject.

AdviserMark D. Jordan
SourceDAI/A 68-08, Nov 2007
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsArt history; Theology; Film studies
Publication Number3279854
Adobe PDF Access the complete dissertation:

» This is an open access dissertation.
  Use the link below to access the full text PDF of this graduate work:
  Use the link below to search and retrieve all open access dissertations:

About ProQuest Dissertations & Theses
With over 2.3 million records, the ProQuest Dissertations & Theses (PQDT) database is the most comprehensive collection of dissertations and theses in the world. It is the database of record for graduate research.

The database includes citations of graduate works ranging from the first U.S. dissertation, accepted in 1861, to those accepted as recently as last semester. Of the 2.3 million graduate works included in the database, ProQuest offers more than 1.9 million in full text formats. Of those, over 860,000 are available in PDF format. More than 60,000 dissertations and theses are added to the database each year.

If you have questions, please feel free to visit the ProQuest Web site - - or call ProQuest Hotline Customer Support at 1-800-521-3042.