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Category: The Politics of Scripture

The Politics of Scripture series follows the Revised Common Lectionary to connect the biblical text to political issues in contemporary thought and practice. You can search past archives by scriptural book here.

Resources

Bibliography:

  1.  Jacob Taubes, The Political Theology of Paul (2010)
  2.  Susannah Heschel, The Aryan Jesus: Christian Theologians and the Bible in Nazi Germany (2008)
  3.  Denise Buell, Why This New Race: Ethnic Reasoning in Early Christianity (2005)
  4.  Shadaab Rahemtulla, Qur’an of the Oppressed: Liberation Theology and Gender Justice in Islam (2018)
  5. Nancy Eisland and Don Saliers (eds.), Human Disability and the Service of God: Reassessing Religious Practice (1998)

Relevant Journal Articles:

  • Mario Feit, “Intimations of Democratic Impatience: The Book of Job,” Political Theology 19, no. 5 (2018): 421-438
  • Steed Vernyl Davidson, “The Imperial End: How Empire Overtakes Refugees in Jeremiah,” Political Theology 19, no. 6 (2018): 460-477
  • Roxanne L. Euben, “Beyond Law and Liberalism: Power, Difference and Ṭalab al-ʿilm,” Political Theology 21, no. 4 (2020): 366-375
David’s Political Apology

The politician David’s apology may communicate genuine remorse, an intention to make amends, or his acceptance of the consequences of his actions. Or, it may be a word-smithed damage control statement, calculated to admit as little as possible and move the news cycle beyond the scandal.

The Miraculous Power of Limitations

Jesus’s followers seek a “prophet” who serves human desires for control and vengeance: the power his followers think is essential in order to defeat their human oppressors. They forget that the prophet only ever serves the Divine will, which has a vision wider than the cosmos, concerned with re-establishing the harmony that was written into the fabric of creation from its very beginning.

Where Does God Dwell?

By spiritualizing place, and thereby transmogrifying place-based identities into racialized ones, Christianity cooperated with the machinations of settler-colonial capitalism in its world-making project. Thus, returning to a consideration of land as one location of God’s action is basic work for any political theology that aspires to move in a decolonial direction.

Prophetic Truth Telling as a Christian Witness

The God we meet in Amos and John demands righteousness, solidarity and justice as the foundations of faithful living. Neutrality scuppers justice. When we drift away from God, our fellow human beings and the life-giving environment, prophetic truth-telling tempered with an imagination for a different world becomes a necessity.

“Will the Dust Praise You?”: Theologizing Death

What if we treated death and suffering as having the last word? How would that change us and the world we live in?

The Politics of the Kingdom of God

Indian citizens stepping up to save as many lives as they could embody what the Kingdom of God is about: collective self-care, mutual aid, without a king, while also holding earthly kings accountable for not attending to the needs of their public whether or not there is a crisis.

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.

A Strategy of Grace

In our times when critical thought is suspect and even scientific facts have become articles of faith in need of defense, to play the double bind between the ethical and the political is the constant task Christians and others must continually engage in. This play contains serious risks, no doubt. What gives grace its generosity and generative capaciousness also makes it liable to be the locus of opportunism and oppression.

The Politics of Traversing Difference

Pentecost does not present us with the ideal of the uniform, homogeneous community, but with a divine power that traverses all of our differences. God’s will is to unite us in our diversity, not to extinguish it.

On “Blessedness”

Rather than read it prescriptively to justify my own identification as a “righteous Christian,” I now read this passage for what it is: a poem that describes the resilience of a people who found true comfort and safety in God, despite attacks from those who would cause them harm.