I feel like most of my posts have focused on adding some religious context to what is happening in the class.  That’s fine, though.  There’s a lot of religious context to add.  The idea of the body of Christ is central to many Christian groups.  The obvious importance of Christ’s body is that it was his body which was sacrificed for mankind.  In the early Catholic church significant debate revolved around the nature of Christ’s body.  People wondered how a human body could contain God, whether Jesus actually felt pain (or any human feelings) and of course how his body could have been raised from the dead.  The early church settled on a strangely Blakean understanding of Christ’s body.  They said that Christ was both fully human and fully divine at the same time.  This understanding requires that Christ himself be a contradiction, that at no time does he stop being human or divine.

But besides the literal body of Christ, it is important to understand the tradition of the metaphorical body of Christ.  At a key part of the Bible Jesus makes the strange statement regarding a piece of bread from a passover meal: “While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.” (Mat 26: 26).  Different Christian sects have interpreted this statement in radically different ways but there seems to be some agreement that through Christianity it is possible for believers to become part of the body of Christ.  Based on this idea there is significant Christian tradition that revolves around equating the modern day believers with the literal body of Christ.