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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
Political Leaders and Moral Intelligence

One cannot be politically smart, but willfully wicked. For the leader and for the voter who would be tied to the Scriptures, “smart” is a moral term.

The Written-out Slaves

When Dalits write, they contest these misrepresentations and objectifications, and provide a sub-version of the texts. When Dalits write, they experience liberation. A decolonial reading of this given text calls us to offer our support and solidarity with #Blacklivesmatter and #Dalitlivesmatter, recognising an agency of liberation in our Dalit and Black bodies, lives, and texts.

When Love is Forbidden, Resilience Becomes Inevitable

Song of Solomon 2:8-13 invites us to listen to the voices that are subjugated by systems of sexism, racism, xenophobia, bigotry, and the like. When love is forbidden, streets will be crowded, when love is forbidden, widows will be broken, when love is forbidden, resilience is inevitable.

White Supremacy is a False God

Abraham did pass the test from God in this story, but not in the way it has been interpreted for so long. Rather, Abraham passed the test by hearing and obeying the voice of the true God at the end, telling him to stop.

Racist Men, Complicit Women, and Prejudiced Children

Mothers like Hagar who bear the weight of racism in the wilderness (Genesis 21:14) are always on the verge of losing their children—inferiorized by racist prejudice. These mothers’ voices are crying out, “Do not let me look on the death of the child” (Genesis 21:16).

From Servitude to Service

The descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob cried out for deliverance, and Yahweh heard them (Exodus 2:23). Notice carefully: Yahweh did not offer to comfort the Hebrews. Yahweh did not tell them to endure their situation because things would all work out in the end, or because after death they would be “in a better place.” Instead, Yahweh acted on covenant promises made with their ancestors by entering history.

The Sound of Many Tongues

This is what it means to be speaking in tongues: not what the empires and the sub-empires of today want to hear—the sound of one voice, one language—but the vulnerable dissenting in their own—the sound of many, the sound of chaos, the sound like the “rush of a violent wind” (verse 2).

Two Ways to Read Political Power in the Enthronement of God

When we read of God enthroned as the great king, perhaps we can imagine a system of governance where our political rivals are not beaten into submission, but are disarmed by love; where those who are different from us are respected, listened to, learned from; where brute force is neutralized by a refusal to retaliate and is resisted through active non-violence. Toward this end, God is indeed the great leader, the one who models “power under” for all of us.

Resisting Colonial Logic in Christian Thinking

As tempting as it might be to assign murderous impulses to so-called former colonial times, Christians would do well to pay attention to how such logic continues to operate today in theological and political thinking.

Heroism is a Fatal Disease

We love heroism; we may even be addicted to it. But what happens when our addiction breeds a “heroism” that’s twisted, dangerous, and a disease?