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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
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

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.

Justice and the Use of Private Military and Security Contractors

Transforming war into a capitalist imperative, the expanded use of PMSCs makes it more difficult to place democratic checks upon military power, commodifies war in a fashion that obscures its tragedy and misery, and threatens to further constrict the role of justice in determining military engagements.

Christian Ethics and the “Problems” of Business and War

Above all, the Christian tradition urges us to reject the application of war metaphors to the market, as if it were a bloody realm of unavoidable tragedy and exclusively self-focused interest. It is not—or should not be—and the temptation to accept economic “tragedy” is really just the temptation to fail to love God and the neighbor, theologically speaking.

Crip Time, Sacred Time, and Holding History

Though theologies and practices vary, many Christians commit to sacred times of relation, mutual care, and patience as a form of devotion to God’s promise of justice, believing that this promise is their work to carry out, too. In the Sabbath lives a wider, eternal perspective and sacred release from daily rhythms, obligations, and productivity, an invitation into the transcendent.

Eugenics, immigration law, and Christian support

Christian-affiliated people who want to heed and hear victim-survivors’ voices and seek justice with violence affected groups need to contend with histories of support for racist, colonial, and sexist policies and programs. This blog post is an expression of my effort to do that.

Bernard Stiegler on the Dangers of the Digital

Stiegler argues that capitalism has now reached its limits and that the future of the planet in what he calls ‘control societies’ echoing Deleuze is open to question.