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Category: Politics of Scripture

The Politics of Scripture series follows the Revised Common Lectionary to connect the biblical text to political issues in ancient and contemporary thought and practice. You can search past archives by scriptural book here. We welcome contributions from scholars, religious leaders, and activists. Contact the series editor, Tim McNinch at politicsofscripture@gmail.com.

In Jesus’s Flesh, New Possibilities for Embodiment 

There is no single, correct mode of embodiment. For those who regard themselves as part of the body of Jesus, part of the family that grows from Jesus’s body, that one body is really many bodies, complicated bodies, with hands, blood, some foreskins, and a whole lot of multi-colored flesh.

Listening to Power’s Fears

Paying attention to Herod’s fears about Jesus can keep us from depoliticizing the gospel.

Redefining Authority: The Political Theology of Rejection in Mark 6: 1-6

The political theology emerging from this narrative calls for a redefinition of authority and leadership. It emphasises qualities like service, compassion, and the capacity to heal and liberate over traditional markers of power like wealth, status, or lineage.

“Will the Dust Praise You?”: Theologizing Death

Imagine a world in which we stop at every news of death. Imagine a world in which we do not trivialize or rationalize death. … Have we over-theologized life after death?

Going Down to the Sea with Job, Psalms, and Shakespeare

The messianic banquet imagined by the Jewish sages nurtures attitudes of respect, blessing, recognition, and wonder. These comportments converge in humility, an earthbound ethic that we practice together, through speech, action, and the work of dwelling.

Good-Hearted Small People Against Weapons of War

As we reflect on what it means to resist vulnerability and consolidate military power, much could be said in connection to our own political moment. Given the proliferation of weapons of war and the investment in such weaponry by nation-states and stakeholders who see buying shares in war-related machinery and technology as a profitable enterprise, the privileging of a good heart—“the LORD looks on the heart”—is a most urgent political posture.

Indigenous Identity Caught Between Being the Devil and A Hard Place

The politics of identity often has Indigenous persons grappling with the dichotomy of US empire’s labels of the Native American Indian as contaminating evil or contaminated victim. For Indigenous Christians Jesus calls on us to spurn these limiting designations, to embrace the spirit of interdependent creation, which brings us back to a family of justice and life.

Work, Life, and the Dissent of the Sabbath

We were not made for the capitalist subjection that characterizes our lives. The gift of the Sabbath serves us in the present by contesting work’s overlordship and disrupting the social controls by which capitalist hegemony maintains itself.

Living the Legacy

Jesus’ work becomes our own through this adoption, and we are entrusted with God’s legacy to embody, to live, to pass on.

Pentecost as A Graced-Gift of Disruption: What Can the Church and Society Learn from the Pentecost Experience?

Pentecost experience offers a vision of surplus that allows all people to flourish because the source of meaning and purpose for each society is grounded in a God of surplus.

A Political Theology of Election(s)

Despite meeting all the eligibility criteria, Peter and the men disciples did not regard the women and mother Mary to be considered for this new post of apostleship. They were looking to choose ‘one of the men’ who would meet the criteria.

Reimagined Victory

John proclaims that our trust conquers the world and makes us victors…Trust implies relationship rather than transaction or exploitation. For John’s audience to be people who trust (and who are trustworthy) means for them to see others as people rather than problems.