Religious satire and the crucified Christ: Upsetting theological discourse

Jan Martijn Abrahamse*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalReview articleAcademicpeer-review


This article discusses the relationship between religious satire and Christian theology to explore the possibility of satiric theology. It takes its departure from the proclamation of the cross (cf. 1 Cor 1:27) to demonstrate that the Crucified Christ can be a source for satire. To accomplish this, Paul Simpson's analysis of satire is used to analyse the notorious crucifixion scene of Monty Python's Life of Brian. Subsequently, by way of Stanley Hauerwas's theorising of irony, it is argued that satiric theology is theology in iconoclastic fashion. Hence, satiric theology supplies alternative comical stories to estrange people from the familiar and challenge misconceptions, thereby offering a valuable contribution to theological debate and Christian practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-46
Number of pages32
JournalReligion and Theology
Issue number1-2
Early online date21 Jul 2020
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020


  • Life of Brian
  • Satire
  • Stanley Hauerwas
  • Theologia crucis
  • Theology of the cross


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