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Announcing Vol. 17, No. 4 of POLITICAL THEOLOGY

The latest issue of the print journal Political Theology  (Volume 17, No. 4) is now available online.  The issue includes an editorial on the meaning of the Orlando shootings at a Latino LGBT club as well as articles on the theology of Graham Ward and food poverty and book conversations regarding “decolonial Judaism” and the “new materialism” of Crockett and Robbins.
    Below are the table of contents with links to abstracts for the issue as well as an excerpt from Viefhues-Bailey’s “The American Terrorist”.
24 March 2016
Book Discussions
Book Reviews
The American Terrorist by Ludger Viefhues-Bailey
    As we grapple to understand the horrific mass slaughter of scores of LGBT people
during their celebration of Latin@ and queer love, we resort to well-worn templates
to explain his violence: Was Omar Mateen an Islamic Terrorist motivated by a
political-religious ideology alien to the U.S. or another Mass Shooter motivated
by the voices of a deranged mind.
    Republicans are more likely to use the Islamic Terrorist narrative whereas Democrats
are drawn to the Mass Shooter narrative. It is clear why. Branding Omar
Mateen as an Islamic Terrorist makes it easier to declare his act exceptional or
un-American. Thus, the same Republican politicians who send their prayers or congratulate
themselves on Twitter for their insights into terrorism do not have to confront
the depth of politically fueled hatred that characterizes our polity: Hate towards
Latin@ persons, towards LGBT people, and others who are cast out of “our” body
politic because we racialized or sexualized them into the status of “minority.”
    On the other hand, by casting Omar Mateen as a Mass Shooter, Democrats can
fold the event into the sequence of “senseless” and “inexplicable” violence that
bathes U.S. geography in blood. Doing so seems to offer a pragmatic opening to
discuss whether the Second Amendment should give everyone in the U.S. the
option to possess and use weapons of war; yet this narrative sanitizes U.S. politics
as well. It negates the tapestry of political terror and injustice that is woven into
our politics. This terror is not inflicted upon us simply from the outside, as the
Republican narrative wants to make us believe. Neither is it somehow visited on
us from the abyss of deranged minds in the form of senseless violence as the Democratic
narrative assumes…

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