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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
Abundant Life in the Sheepfold: John 10:1-10 and the Gates We Live Behind in this Time of COVID-19

For those who are most vulnerable today—those at risk of infection due to socio-economic injustices that put them in greater harm’s way and/or age and immune-deficiencies that leave their bodies more compromised to the most severe effects of the COVID-19 virus, particularly in the United States, the disproportionate numbers of people of color whose communities are being ravaged by this disease—John’s text speaks a word of encouragement and hope.

The Politics of Burning Hearts

We must remember that even when the pandemic is over, this nation will still be under threat by people and forces who have declared war on everything and everyone it defines as “other”. We must remain committed to being hospitable to the stranger, and caring for the most vulnerable.

Following Christ in Resurrection Hope

This relativizes politics into a realm that cannot penetrate or disturb the Christian’s faith or take away our salvation and our hope. This is why the real danger for the Christian is not just biopolitics, but also ideologies that provide an alternative salvation through false gods.

Finding Hope in a New Planting

How does one turn away from a Lenten desert, so profoundly illustrated in the wastelands of plastic filled beaches, and walk towards the resurrection hope of Easter? Perhaps by remembering that Easter is coming, but its only the middle of the story.

Claiming Responsibility for a Different World

This biblical text—the “trial” and execution of Jesus—is a text that we who are Christians know so well we may be tempted to skim it. In the same way, we think we know and understand climate change—enough that we can skim the science.

The Sleepers Must Awaken

We are a people once asleep, now waking to a new world, where our forms of life have done irreparable harm to our earth and helped to unleash a deadly pathogen on ourselves. We must ask, how will these bones live?

Passing through the Valley of the Shadow of Death

We need to recognize that whether we like it or not, the global community is in this crisis together. Our survival depends on learning to share the abundance we have—our natural and financial resources, as well as scientific expertise and creativity—in the fight to combat climate change.

God’s Clean Water Act

Humans have grown exponentially in our propensity and power to conquer the earth itself. Despite being newcomers relative to neighboring species, humans usually behave as if we owned the place. But Psalm 95 speaks clearly: When we come into God’s presence—and there is no place God is more vividly present to us than in creation’s midst—the psalm says to come with thanksgiving, the polar opposite of greed.

When was the Last Time You Got Lost?

An intertextual reading of Genesis 12 and Psalm 121 demonstrates that, while our faithful relationship with God may be initiated by our willful act of leaving, our ongoing life journey can be sustained by our attention to nature’s ontological testimony of God’s unequal sovereignty. Just as the Hebrew pilgrims were given strength to live out their faith through ecological awareness and mindfulness, let us emulate this life of pilgrimage and boldly leave our anthropocentric lifestyles.

Lent in the Anthropocene

Humans may very well not survive to the end of the century, but in faithfulness to the Creator, between fasting and serving the Garden, hope is alive. The liturgical season of Lent is such a time.

Considering Climate Change in the Lenten Season

During the Christian, liturgical season of Lent, essays on the Politics of Scripture will reflect on the intersection between the lectionary texts and climate change.

The Politics of Treasured Words

Our political theology is strengthened by trusting that the words of the Son of Man are a fleshly restatement of what is divinely just and good and holy and lovely. Because Christ has come and his presence is with us, God’s words are even more accessible to us.