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Category: Justice

Though a commitment to justice animates many projects across the field of political theology, debate about what justice entails is at least as common as agreement. Classical concerns include the just distribution of goods, the equal access to public accommodations, and the fair protection from violent incursion. These are amplified and reconfigured in an age of rising economic inequality, mass incarceration, and the increased surveillance and discipline of bodies by corporate and government institutions.

Resources

Bibliography:

  1. Kelly Brown Douglas, Stand Your Ground: Black Bodies and the Justice of God (2015)
  2. Mark Lewis Taylor, The Theological and the Political: On the Weight of the World (2011)
  3. Devin Singh, Divine Currency: The Theological Power of Money in the West (2018)
  4. Miguel De La Torre, Embracing Hopelessness (2017)
  5. Houria Bouteldja, Whites, Jews, and Us: Toward a Politics of Revolutionary Love (2017)
  6. Traci C. West, Solidarity and Defiant Spirituality: Africana Lessons on Religion, Racism, and Ending Gender Violence (2019)

Relevant Journal Articles:

  • Vincent Lloyd, “For What Are Whites to Hope?” Political Theology 17, no. 2 (2016): 168-181
  • Linn Tonstad, “Debt Time is Straight Time,” Political Theology 17, no. 5 (2016): 434-448
  • Monica Coleman, “Metaphysics, Metaphor and Multiplicity: A Postmodern Womanist Theology for Today’s Thorniest Religious Issues,” Political Theology 18, no. 4 (2017): 340-353
  • Nindyo Sasongko, “Epistemic Ignorance and the Indonesian Killings of 1965-1966: Righting the Wrongs of the Past and the Role of Faith Community,” Political Theology 20, no. 3 (2019): 280-295
The Significance of a Derogatory Term

A derogatory term, “freedom cunt” uttered against a female is offensive, but it is also instructive.

Reasoning about (Non)violence in the Hong Kong Protests

It is not always clear what we mean by violence or nonviolence, though, like pornography, we assume, we’ll know (non)violence when we see it.

The Demonic in Hong Kong

We need to recognize the tragic aspects of the events, in which the perpetrators of evil are themselves grasped, enslaved, or “possessed” by demonic powers as structures of evil.

Hong Kong “Freedom Cunt”: Sexual Violence and Crucifixion

There is the rising emergence of a new breed of women protesters in Hong Kong—women who are fearless in the face of escalating brutality from the police and authorities. They remind us of the women in Galilee in the Gospel who were so brave and caring and overcame community pressure and even the fear of execution.

Uncivil and Civil Disobedience in the 2019 Hong Kong Protests

The coexistence of numerous means of resistance in Hong Kong underscores the limitations of the violent/nonviolent dichotomy, pointing out that achieving social change is not either peaceful or militant but can be both, depending on the context. It also raises questions to Christian theologians and ethicists regarding the justification (or perhaps critique) of coexistent ways of resistance in facing authoritarian regimes.

Healing as a Metaphor? An Interview with Laura Levitt

“‘I think that the ways that we move through time and space and objects move through time and space connects us…They can occasion a kind of connection.’ It is ‘our tender care’ for these objects, not merely their proximity to violent suffering, that transforms them into sacred objects.”

Islamophobia, State Violence, Public Theologies

In a performative contradiction, the French state polices Islam in order to make sure that the separation of religion and politics is respected, enacting secularism’s impossibility

Response: Frameworks of Meaning, Identity, and Resistance

The language of the imago dei has the capacity, in my view, to subvert the legal and ethical justifications for war, and focus dialogue and conversations on the ways in which killing, tragically, allows us to glimpse the diminishment of our own humanity in the death of another.

Response: The Inversion of U.S. Society’s Militarism

A transformative justice approach with restorative mechanisms works to break this logic of de-humanization and build more humanizing social processes. Accountability, as distinct from punishment, is about better understanding the harm, growing in empathy, acknowledging responsibility, and moving in the direction of changing harmful behavior.

The Significance of Protest: Disrupting the Status Quo

Andrew Suderman argues that the significance of protest lies in challenging the “policing” realities of death that plague our world and exposes the contingencies on which such logic rests whilst reasserting our own political agency by re-claiming the power we have to embody now the future God desires for this world. This is the form of politics to which Jesus calls us.

Response: The Business of War, the Labor of War

A full-scale war might spectacularly display the deaths and violence that immediately bring people’s attention. However, an excessive profit-driven business may also kill as many people as war does, while in many cases, these deaths are invisible.

Transformative Justice is Resistance to the Military-Industrial Complex

By working to abolish policing and prisons as we know them today, prison and police abolitionists are engaging in the kind of activism that can resist and dismantle these interconnected evils at the same time. In other words, transformative justice and prison abolition are ways to resist the military-industrial complex.