The social construction of the criminal other has long served as a justification for subjugation. Pope Francis has stated that the people of God can smell holiness, and perhaps there is also a greater need for the olfactory discernment of evil in our midst. Despite the risk of too literal an interpretation of this metaphor, deeper reflection is warranted of the ways in which evil must be resisted.
If we want to focus on stopping sexual violence we need to ask much more disruptive questions about the conserving influence within Christian political theologies that accompanies their radical critiques.
Political theology’s prospects for contributing helpfully to movements of resistance to sexual violence depends on the willingness and ability those who contribute to political theology as a discourse to discern and prioritize the kinds of questions that are deemed most urgent by sexual violence survivors themselves and those who have devoted their work to ethically addressing this harm.
For it is only through understanding black culture as worthy of attention that we can feel it as worthy of enjoyment.