These protests, the victims’ testimony, and the courage of survivors remind us that it is time to turn off the powerful sound of the perpetrators’ dominant voices and tune in to the voices of the oppressed.
During this global pandemic, a theological imagination contributes to helping us draw on a public health approach to our security strategies and shift focus to a just peace framework.
The survivors were oppressed and deprived of their freedom, dignity, identity, womanhood, and youth. However, they are now human rights movement activists, teachers, living testimony of the painful history, and much more.
Remembering a future that is habitable for humanity and receptive to justice requires remembering the inconvenient past that, when surfaced, can threaten the status quo.
It is important to notice the ways in which economic language seeps into theology and to be attentive to the ways in which interpretations of scripture can either reinscribe exploitative harm or help imagine alternative possibilities for human flourishing.
Before the COVID pandemic, low-wage workers were already living in precarious circumstances because these jobs often lack benefits necessary to provide for health care and additional income necessary to build things like emergency savings and retirement funds.
I have argued that economic theology should lead to political praxis and change. Economic theology has to open a space for emancipatory politics that resists the capitalist future.
A second expression of relationality is covenant. It is a bond between distinct parties where each gives for the flourishing of the other. Unlike contract, which protects interests, covenant protects relationship.
Blaming Covid 19 on the World Health Organization or on a lab in China and calling Black Lives Matter “radical leftist extremists” follow the American-populist playbook of responding to duress by targeting an alien “other” who have wronged “us” and whom “we’re” right to combat with force.