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John Boopalan

Sunder John Boopalan is Assistant Professor of Biblical and Theological Studies at Canadian Mennonite University in Winnipeg, Canada. He is the author of the monograph, Memory, Grief, and Agency: A Political Theological Account of Wrongs and Rites (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017). As a political theologian with interests in theological ethics, Boopalan draws from anthropological and ethnographic data particularly pertaining to caste and race. His (coauthored) forthcoming book with Fortress Press is titled Dalit Theology: A Global Introduction.

Symposia

Whiteness and Biblical Studies

While the visual medium is thus dominated by whiteness, there exists simultaneously a whiteness that permeates textual and other worlds in biblical scholarship.

Essays

“Will the Dust Praise You?”: Theologizing Death

What if we treated death and suffering as having the last word? How would that change us and the world we live in?

Is God Fickle-Minded?

If God invites dialogue and intervention and is moved by human persons, God is thus open to changing God’s mind. This picture of God has implications for human interactions. In cultural and political movements, people often make up their mind and are unpersuaded by what other people say or do. When these others are suffering others, being unpersuaded is a mark of tyranny. When evidence of malevolent intention is presented and the evidence is brushed aside in favour of aligning with larger—national or otherwise—interests, impassibility is a crime.

Racist Men, Complicit Women, and Prejudiced Children

Mothers like Hagar who bear the weight of racism in the wilderness (Genesis 21:14) are always on the verge of losing their children—inferiorized by racist prejudice. These mothers’ voices are crying out, “Do not let me look on the death of the child” (Genesis 21:16).

Resisting Colonial Logic in Christian Thinking

As tempting as it might be to assign murderous impulses to so-called former colonial times, Christians would do well to pay attention to how such logic continues to operate today in theological and political thinking.

Nostalgia and Politics

Embodying the best of the prophetic tradition, the text encourages us to consider that religion, in fact, does have functions: liberation, feeding the hungry, inviting vulnerable strangers into our homes, and undoing injustice.

Responding to Mary’s Willfulness

“Can’t the disadvantaged be advantaged without disadvantaging us? Does their uplift necessarily have to entail our own loss?”

“Get Up and Eat”: The Political Act of Feeding—1 Kings 19:1–15a

The posture that invites those who are struggling for freedom to “Get up and eat, otherwise the journey will be too much for you” is a political posture laden with messianic power.

A Widow’s Presence—Mark 12:38-44

In her very presence, the widow performs the political act of bringing to light oppression and injustice. Our task is to learn how to see her.

Wounds of the World: Does Theology Aid or Hinder Their Remembrance and Tending?

Does theology aid or hinder memory work vis-à-vis structural wrongs? What fresh theological framework may political theology employ for assistance in transformative memory work?