Category: The Politics of Scripture

In the midst of a pandemic, can these Advent texts speak to our grief, both collective and personal, in political ways? These scriptures reveal that to grieve is to bear witness to our tears through righteous anger. They interrogate how our lives are structured along inequitable lines in this present moment and counter a simple return to how things were.

Biblical scholars could yield profound insights into the deep and dangerous ways the Bible has been employed in the Doctrine of Discovery and Manifest Destiny. They might also have to reckon with the role of biblical scholarship in justifying imperialism.

This week, the Politics of Scripture Blog is partnering with “First Reading” an Old Testament lectionary podcast, co-hosted by one of our blog’s editors, Tim McNinch.

Because whiteness lies at the center of biblical studies, the accepted way of doing biblical scholarship is one that engages white questions, white concerns. The system forces scholars of color, especially those who receive their doctoral trainings in the western educational system, to be familiar with white scholarship.

Perhaps this parable is not about stewardship of resources, in the sense of asking the maximum effort to produce the maximum gains, but is rather about revealing and denouncing unethical behavior that reinforces oppressive structures of the past and the present.

“But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an everflowing stream” (Amos 5:24)

Be sure you do the things you advise, instruct and espouse others to do. Do not charge others with doing the things you are guilty of doing.

Jesus’ teaching regarding taxation and our allegiance to human governments challenges Christians who find themselves subject to contemporary governments to think about how we relate to their inevitable exploitation.

These systems of oppression, much like the golden calf, do not represent the God of love and righteousness. Instead, the fashioning of what can be tamed points to our depraved greed, moral bankruptcy, and the diabolical strategies we employ for survival.

It takes so little courage to become token protagonists of the truth—righteous minds defending unrighteous actions.

In Exodus 17, the people of Israel confront a barren landscape that seems to guarantee imminent death. Today police violence, especially against Black people, seems to be similarly embedded in our social landscape. This essay turns to Angela Davis to ask if dry land can become springs of water.