Chelsea Mak is a doctoral candidate in Hebrew Bible at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Her dissertation, “‘Therefore the Land Mourns:’ The Ecological Body in 8th Century Israelite Religion,” explores how the religious ecology of Israelite religion is revealed in the mutually constitutive relationship between the body and land as found in text and material culture. By attending to a multiplicity of narratives in dialectical encounter, those of the land and the prophetic texts of Hosea, Amos, and Micah, the project further illuminates the stakes of Israelite religious practices as situated within the political economy of the 8th century BCE. Chelsea is the series editor for the Politics of Scripture, a blog on the Political Theology Network.
What if Zephaniah’s addressees had a right to mourn, lament, and rage against the wrath of Yhwh? Afterall, Yhwh’s favor is fickle in Zephaniah, entirely contingent on a particular obedience and only coming after the divine wrath is spent.
This Christmas season, what might it mean to live into the promise of hope fulfilled, when our pandemic experience means that hope strains against lost lives and lost livelihoods? Perhaps it involves visioning a redemption—one built on the social and economic implications of Jeremiah’s vision of those redeemed.
How does one turn away from a Lenten desert, so profoundly illustrated in the wastelands of plastic filled beaches, and walk towards the resurrection hope of Easter? Perhaps by remembering that Easter is coming, but its only the middle of the story.
The narrow formulation of the concept of Political Theology as the tracing of Protestant theological categories in contemporary political thought presents some challenge for the historically oriented biblical scholar.
Advent is the season between the comings, the space of absence in which we await the Divine visitation. Might it also be a space of resistance, wherein we reimagine our identities and, in so doing, perhaps even become the kind of presence in the world we so desire?
Psalm 1 presents the reader with two, mutually exclusive categories of human existence: righteousness and wickedness. However, experience tells us that to be human is far more complex. Rather than simply embracing the psalm’s presentation of life, we might enter a dialogue instead, one wherein we consider what it might mean to be formed by attending to others rather than reifying our existing in-groups.
Rather than portraying human difference as the punishment of God, Babel and Pentecost are complementary stories, each highlighting God’s intention for cultural and linguistic diversity. As we draw near to Pentecost Sunday, may we also consider the inherent value of language as a cultural identity marker and partner as advocates for language preservation.