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Category: The Politics of Scripture

The Politics of Scripture series follows the 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
God’s Radiant Law

Jesus pronounced judgment on the entire system and dismantled it with a whip – modeling for us how to treat egregious distortions of Christian worship that distract from God’s redemptive work. This is not politics “out there,” in the public square, but in house.

Is God Fickle-Minded?

If God invites dialogue and intervention and is moved by human persons, God is thus open to changing God’s mind. This picture of God has implications for human interactions. In cultural and political movements, people often make up their mind and are unpersuaded by what other people say or do. When these others are suffering others, being unpersuaded is a mark of tyranny. When evidence of malevolent intention is presented and the evidence is brushed aside in favour of aligning with larger—national or otherwise—interests, impassibility is a crime.

From Mountaintops to Valleys

Transfiguration means to be challenged and governed by a different set of norms, in opposition to this world and the powers that disfigure the image of God in each one of us. Theologically, transfiguration is an eschatological vision that transforms and revolutionises our present.

Family is a Fluid Construct

Jesus and his disciples can be seen to both affirm and expand the construction of first-century family, even as they are not limited by it. Such a reading of Mark complicates any single definition of “biblical family” in favor of recognizing the fluid and constructed nature of family systems across time.

Prophets and Politicians in Transition

In a time of transition, Moses models what is needed: assurance that the foundational covenant will be preserved by those called from the midst of the people to listen to and speak for God.

Refusing God’s Call

Jonah sat in the belly of an ocean beast for three days rather than face his duty to call Nineveh back to God. And Christians — especially white Christians — in this country have long been ignoring their duty to call one another to repentance.

He Saw the Heavens Torn Apart

The tearing open of the cosmic order is the descent of the true justice of God, waged against the empires of this world who rule under the banner of “order and justice,” but whose “justice” is always only violence and oppression.

This Present Absence

This Christmas season, what might it mean to live into the promise of hope fulfilled, when our pandemic experience means that hope strains against lost lives and lost livelihoods? Perhaps it involves visioning a redemption—one built on the social and economic implications of Jeremiah’s vision of those redeemed.

Paul’s Propertied Incarnation

Those who read Paul’s propertied incarnation in Galatians should not run away from its horrors or theologize them. We should find truth in them (though perhaps not the truth Paul intended). We should tell truth from them.

Putting Politicians in their Place

This Advent, we are in desperate need of both prophetic voices and prophetic imaginations. Voices to put our politicians in their place and imaginations to help us recognize the shape of God’s hesed in the midst of personal and global trauma.