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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.

The Politics of Scripture blog welcomes contributions from scholars, religious leaders, and activists. If you would like to submit an essay or join our contributor list, please email Series Editor, Caralie Focht at caraliefocht@gmail.com

The Politics of Swearing

Jesus couldn’t tolerate the unjust practices of Herod, nor could he remain a silent spectator to all the injustices Herod had been doing. Instead, at that very moment he swears against Herod with an f-word.

Beware of Milk and Honey

On the one hand, there is in the foreground “a land flowing with milk and honey.” On the other hand, as one reads the text with modern eyes and ears, the problematic language of inheritance, possession, and settlement the chapter begins with rightly alarms readers concerned about occupation of stolen lands using theologically justifying language.

The Love of a Father for a Son

We look for revelations on the mountain tops—among the most powerful and famous. God’s politics of reversal, on display throughout Luke, call us to re-center this search in the valleys and level places, in the face of the child and the plea of a father.

Reframing the Narrative: A Survivor’s Healing Strategy

Joseph’s claim that it was God who engineered the situation for good is indicative of a person, or at least a narrative character, who has experienced healing over time, away from his abusers. He has reframed his narrative to better suit how he sees himself and his world now, a world where he has power.

Looking for Seeds amid Stumps

The political message of the ambiguous reference to a stump in Isaiah 6 might lie not in the text itself but rather in the history of its redaction.

Political Hierarchies and God’s Order

For those who experience a divine compulsion to publicly resist the perversions of the powerful, despite their own hesitations and fears, Jeremiah may be an encouraging witness to the potential for an experience of divine presence alongside the pain.

A Call to Radical Witnessing to the Faith Needed for Our Times

The disruptive presence of Nehemiah in spaces that are intended to erase his identity allows for a broader understanding of God’s word. While religious laws may sometimes be exclusionary in their nature, a higher law, one that is grounded in one’s fidelity to God through the way one lives one’s life, allows for radical inclusivity of all before God.

Hope, and Hard Boards

Psalm 36 reminds us that hope is grounded in God’s very nature, that it rests in the hesed of the LORD. Today, despite the fact that the work we undertake remains unfinished, we can rest in God’s hesed.

The Politics of Touch

Both in Jesus’ baptism and in the later giving of the Spirit through the laying on of hands in the early Church, we see significance accorded to touch. This importance given to touch—to the tangible—summons us into the realm of human and bodily connection and engagement with others.

Remembering the Good News

Following Jesus the Dao in flesh is to follow the way of liberative freedom, a freedom to embrace the openness of Jesus’s multifaceted witness instead of reductively boxing him in by way of the Logic of the One.

The Prophet, Pigmentation, and Pottersville

When we think about Christmas, do we associate it with charity or justice? Christmas certainly appears to be associated with charity in our larger culture. In contrast, Isaiah 9:2–7 reminds us that the lectionary readings for the season consistently focus on justice.