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Category: Body Politics

The representation of political subjectivity entails fundamental assumptions about who has capacity and standing to be an agent. Who counts as a political agent? What commonalities can be political mobilized? Under what significations can such identities become legible? Here we examine the complex intersections of race, class, gender, and sexuality and they are mobilized to political and theological ends.

Resources

Bibliography:

  1. Marcella Althaus-Reid, Indecent Theology: Theological Perversions in Sex, Gender, and Politics (2000)
  2. J. Kameron Carter, Race: A Theological Account (2008)
  3. Gloria Anzaldúa, Borderlands/La Frontera: The New Mestiza (1987)
  4. M. Shawn Copeland, Enfleshing Freedom (2010)
  5. Linn Tonstad, Queer Theology: Beyond Apologetics (2018)
  6. Silvia Federici, Caliban and the Witch: Women, the Body and Primitive Accumulation (2004)
  7. Sharon V. Betcher, Spirit and the Politics of Disablement (2007)
  8. Willie James Jennings, The Christian Imagination: Theology and the Origins of Race (2011)

Relevant Journal Articles:

  • Timothy McGee, “Against (White) Redemption: James Cone and the Christological Disruption of Racial Discourse and White Solidarity,” Political Theology 18, no. 7 (2017): 542-559
  • Brandy Daniels, “On Ambivalence and (Anti-)Normativity (or, Theology as a Way of Life?),” Political Theology 19, no.8 (2018): 689-697
  • Bruno M. Shah, “Enfleshing Aesthetics: Theological Anthropology in M. Shawn Copeland’s Enfleshing Freedom and Mayra Rivera’s Poetics of the Flesh,” Political Theology 20, no. 1 (2019): 48-65
Rage, Racism, and the New Global Biopolitics of Identity and Difference – Reflections on the Meaning of the Concentration Camp

For the past two weeks I have made my annual pilgrimage with university students to Vienna, which because of the strong United Nations presence and the hundreds of NGOs specializing in international humanitarian services and outreach is often known as the “gateway city” for globalization.

We always end the course with a two-hour train ride west of the city along the Danube to the Denkstätte (“memorial”) that is the Mauthausen Concentration Camp, an originally preserved site of the monstrous brutality and anti-human obscenities inflicted on a vast diversity of different peoples now at least 70 years ago by the Third Reich.

A Sheep in Wolf’s Clothing: Nonviolence and Pacifism Part II (by Jonathan McRay)

At the very least we might say that both nonviolence and pacifism should attempt to understand and redirect violence. And maybe we should shelve the tired terms for a spell and speak of life-giving or death-dealing acts, which might reframe exhausting debates about property destruction. Pacifism should not be at odds with physical force, with the force of physicality such as sit-ins, strikes, human chains, roadblocks, or even strategic property destruction.

A Sheep in Wolf’s Clothing: Nonviolence and Pacifism Part I (by Jonathan McRay)

Nonviolence and pacifism are often pitted against one another, even though pacifism was once considered the activist term to distinguish it from nonresistance. Now, pacifism is thrown under the bus, even by vigorous advocates of nonviolence. For instance, Gene Sharp clarifies that nonviolent action is, appropriately, action that is nonviolent, as opposed to pacifism.

Olive Trees Aflame: Nonviolence and Palestine (by Jonathan McRay)

In 2008, I worked in Ramallah as a journalist and interim editor for the Palestine Monitor, a web-based news source committed to “exposing life under occupation.” I traveled throughout the West Bank, writing several articles about the village of Ni’lin, whose olive groves and roads are fractured due to the construction of the separation wall.

Pacifism as Privilege

Being a pacifist and an American is virtually impossible. Typically, the peace and justice community focus on violence issues, human trafficking, and other visible forms of oppression. They come out against war and unsanctioned military engagement (which is basically the status quo in the global capitalist empire: instead of war, we have police action). All of these things are unjust and need to be opposed, but ultimately they are the blood dripping from wound that we keep wiping up without recognizing their source: global capitalism.

For the family of the late Trayvon Martin, Saturday’s ruling – that George Zimmerman was found not guilty of any wrongdoing in his shooting of Trayvon – is a terrible tragedy, and a miscarrying of justice, compounding an already vast sea of grief.

Led by the NC chapter of the NAACP and its charismatic president, the Rev. Dr. William Barber, protestors have every Monday for the past ten weeks come out to the state legislature building in Raleigh, NC to voice their opposition to a spate of conservative legislative measures. Since gaining control of both the legislature and the governor’s office for the first time in 100 years, the GOP has rapidly pushed through a string of regressive, ideologically-driven laws, often using tactics not fully on the up and up.

Black Political Theology: Resurrection Rather Than Death

The Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study hosted a conference at the beginning of this month on Theology and Black Politics. Opening with the question: “What is the Black Church?”, the conference addressed fundamental concerns regarding the nature of black politics and theology.