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Christy Randazzo

Christy Randazzo teaches at both Montclair State University (New Jersey, USA) and the University of St. Joseph (Connecticut, USA), where they offer courses on religious peacemaking, introduction to religious studies, and the intersections between theology and peace work. They have also done ministry across multiple religious communities in diverse settings, including youth and young adult ministry, chaplaincy, and religious education at both the high school and university level, social ministries amongst unhoused populations, and peacemaking in situations of ethno-religious conflict. They have written in a variety of both academic and popular settings, including the Quaker biblical studies series Illuminate, and two books for the Brill Quaker Studies series, including the upcoming A Quaker Ecotheology of Light. Christy is also an editor for the Politics of Scripture on the Political Theology Network.

Essays

The Miraculous Power of Limitations

Jesus’s followers seek a “prophet” who serves human desires for control and vengeance: the power his followers think is essential in order to defeat their human oppressors. They forget that the prophet only ever serves the Divine will, which has a vision wider than the cosmos, concerned with re-establishing the harmony that was written into the fabric of creation from its very beginning.

Let Love Be the First Motion

When Love is the first motion in our lives, we are defined by how we respond, not only in the grand gestures, but also in the unremarkable expressions of everyday life.

The Healing Power of Memory

It is only in the memories of Jesus the fully human that we can find what I argue is the greatest power of the Passion for human lives held captive by the oppressive forces of Empire: the strength to face our crippling fear, stare the full oppressive might of the state in the face, and refuse to cede our full humanity – our joy, love, compassion, and hope – in service to the state’s liturgies of violence and fear.

The Myth of “Cheap” Reconciliation

The God present in the book of Jonah is a God who never gives up hope on anyone, even those who have perpetrated the worst evils. Also, the God present here is a God who demands that we repent thoroughly, completely, and without reservation. This is not a cheap reconciliation, but a very costly one indeed.

Heroism is a Fatal Disease

We love heroism; we may even be addicted to it. But what happens when our addiction breeds a “heroism” that’s twisted, dangerous, and a disease?

The Sleepers Must Awaken

We are a people once asleep, now waking to a new world, where our forms of life have done irreparable harm to our earth and helped to unleash a deadly pathogen on ourselves. We must ask, how will these bones live?

The Perfect World Is Not A Utopian Nightmare

The greatest potential implication of Isaiah 11:1–10 lies in the way it disrupts our expectations of justice, equality, and peace by framing of our narratives of the perfect society and unsullied nature. Rather than Utopia, the passage offers us a vision of a perfectly imperfect world order in absolute harmony.

The Courage to be Humble

The only true way to achieve success—even success in bringing justice to those who seek it, redistributing wealth towards the poor, and divesting oppressive hierarchies of their power—is to place our faith in God’s will for the world, and to follow God’s will for our lives, no matter where it leads.

Living Hopefully in a Time of Despair—Jeremiah 32:1–3a, 6–15

Our societies are built upon the oppression of the poor and marginalised and yet, unless we remove ourselves entirely from the web of cords, laws, taxes, products, and biological needs inherent in twenty-first century life, we are forced to participate in the oppression of others, and the destruction of our habitats. We see, we know that the world is on the brink, yet we cannot escape. Facing such a reality, Jeremiah offers us a way forward: we lament, we express our rage, we retain hope by continuing to call for change, and through it all we never allow ourselves to be numbed or silenced by the enormity of it all.

The Politics of True Faith—Hebrews 11:29–12:2

Faith is an enacted practice we live into through our whole selves, continuously laying our souls and bodies bare and vulnerable before the unknown. The consequences of this are thoroughgoing, touching every single aspect of our lives and making demands on both our loyalties and our activities in the world.

Wisdom’s Place in the Creation—Proverbs 8:1-4, 22-31

Wisdom is available to the entirety of creation, regardless of gender, class, race, or any boundary established by humanity.

Memory and the Risen Christ—Luke 24:1–12

The story of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ is the foundational memory of Christianity. It is a story that not only tells of God’s power over death and the fragility of the empire’s power over life, but also demands that all perspectives be heard, in a grand cacophony of voices, all in common song, singing of the impossible mystery: Jesus is risen, indeed.

The Paradox of a World Turned Upside Down—Luke 6:17-26

Luke makes it clear that it is God, and God alone, who can best align our lives and realities, to make us whole and healthy, and to give us a life worth living, a life most “human.”