A Westminster Divine on Intersex


The Westminster Assembly gathered in 1643 to restructure the Church of England.

Among those who met in the Jerusalem Chamber at Westminster was John Wallis, a mathematician and theologian who acted as secretary.



In addition to writing books on mathematics, logic, and grammar, he published several letters in defense of the doctrine of the trinity.

In one of those, An Explication and Vindication of the Athanasian Creed, while talking about the virgin birth, he goes off on a tangent for a moment and discusses intersex.

“I was about to say, (and it is not much amiss if I do) it is not much more than what (pretty often) happens amongst men, when God gives both Sexes to the same person, (such there are, and have been; and I think there is one yet living, who was first as a Woman married to a Man, and is since as a Man married to a Woman;) and what hinders then, but that God, if he please, may mingle the Effects of both these Sexes in the same Body?”


Many thanks to Miranda Threlfall-Holmes for posting the quote. Here.
She points out that “He doesn’t mention them to condemn them, but merely to underline a rhetorical point. There is not a hint of a suggestion that this is a problem – unusual, yes, but within the normal range of unusual events. Intersex, he says, happens ‘pretty often’, and is God-given.”

#intersex #gender #Christian

6 thoughts on “A Westminster Divine on Intersex

  1. Thank you for this scholarship — it has been my life’s work to normalize Intersex, and these kind of historical references always help to educate people who are unfamiliar and confused

  2. This story is delightful and unexpected. Another reason why this is the most enjoyable of intersex websites and the only one I know where only positive affirmation is offered. – Tupungato.

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