March 29, 2007

Theologies of Kissing

Category: Theology :: Permalink

I came across this the other day: a list of various theologians and their theologies of kissing.  The authors have done a great job of capturing the style and tone of the various theologians.  Scroll through the comments and you’ll find more.

Now these “theologies” are, of course, all made up by the various writers.  I suspect, though, that Augustine (whose theology, as Peter Leithart has said, is as large as life and sometimes larger) might have had an actual theology of kissing.

And why not?  The Bible actually talks a fair bit about kissing.  Think of “Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth” in the Song of Songs, and Paul’s frequent encouragement to greet one another with a holy kiss.  So it would certainly be possible to write a theology of kissing.

It might go something like this: Eating, in the Bible, has to do with communion.  That’s why sacrifices in the Bible are called “food for God”: God “eats” them and in so doing “eats” the worshipers who presented them, drawing them into His fiery presence.  Similarly, when we eat the Lord’s supper, we have communion with Christ and with each other.

We eat with our mouths and with our mouths we kiss.  The kiss is a symbolic eating.  “I could eat you up!” lovers sometimes say, and parents say that to their babies as they pretend to gobble up their tummies.  And because it’s a symbolic eating, it’s also a form of close communion.

That’s not all that could be said, but now the ball is in your court.  What is the biblical theology of kissing?

Posted by John Barach @ 5:45 pm | Discuss (3)

3 Responses to “Theologies of Kissing”

  1. Paul Says:

    Fives times — Paul four times, Peter once — the chief apostles say to greet one another with a kiss. How many other commands are repeated so often?

    I’m inclined to say that the first step toward a theology of kissing is to actually start doing it. Let’s not wait until we’ve explained it. Trust and obey. 😉

  2. Valerie (Kyriosity) Says:

    Paul, I’m going to pass that comment on to my elders, so they’re forewarned in case they have occasion to invite you back! 😉

    Seriously, thanks for bringing us the Word on Sunday. It was good to meet you.

  3. Vic Martens Says:

    Psalm 2: “Kiss the Son lest he be angry…”
    Psalm 85: “…righteousness and peace kiss each other. Faithfulness springs up from the ground, and righteousness looks down from the sky.”
    Jimi Hendrix: “Actin funny, but I dont know why, scuse me while I kiss the sky”

    Also, it’s interesting that Jesus was kissed on two occasions in the gospels: by the sinful woman whom he forgave, and by Judas, who betrayed him.

Leave a Reply