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In The Sexuality of Christ in Renaissance Art and in Modern Oblivion, Leo Steinberg theorizes that Christianity suffers episodes of incarnational crisis when the Savior seems too distant. His humanity, then, must be emphasized, and frequently this is accomplished by asserting his sexuality: Five hundred years ago, a popular subject found the Virgin presenting the genitals of the Christ child as visible proof of his corporeality. It’s a pet corollary of mine that, since the ’70s, evangelical (and usually female) singers have assayed a lusty balladry in which Christ himself is the object of desire. In the few years that I’ve been following the weird world of contemporary christian music, I’ve encountered such songs as Amy Grant’s “Bridegroom,” in which she readies herself for a divine consummation, and Jaci Velasquez’s “Show You Love,” in which she works as a holy procuress, having already sampled the almighty wares herself. But nothing prepared me for CeCe Winans’ torchy “Alabaster Box.” Ostensibly dramatizing Mary Magdalene’s anointing of Christ, the song has a female-ejaculation subtext that’s hard to ignore: “[T]hough she spoke no words/Everything she said was heard/As she poured her love for the master/From her box of Alabaster,” Winans breathes. In fact, Winans’ entire new chart-topping disc Throne Room can be read as a foreplay-to-afterglow evocation of a special night with Jesus. Myself, I keep cueing up the bonus DVD containing a performance of “Alabaster Box” taped at Woman, Thou Art Loosed ’99, a conference also preserved on a series of videos titled Wailing Women Win. I’ll have what she’s having at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 4, at the National Church of God, 6600 Bock Road, Fort Washington. $30. (800) 861-0850. (Glenn Dixon)