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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

A Relational Ethic for a Fragmented World

The story of Mary, Joseph, and Jesus is nothing but the story of people fleeing the violence of an authoritarian empire, though the glitter and celebration of Christmas may have muffled the brutal reality of migrants and refuges seeking sanctuary from death. It is in the midst of such imagined Christmas that the veracity of homeless migrants dying in choppy waters and people stuck in border detention camps waiting for a new future gives us a reality check. The violent empires may have faded but their legacies linger on.

Mary the Prophet

Despite the limited historicity of this text, I like to think that it is the Magnificat, not the fiat, which shows why Mary was the mother of Jesus. It takes a prophet to raise one.

Destabilizing Divine Presence, Fracturing Joy

What if Zephaniah’s addressees had a right to mourn, lament, and rage against the wrath of Yhwh? Afterall, Yhwh’s favor is fickle in Zephaniah, entirely contingent on a particular obedience and only coming after the divine wrath is spent.

The Messenger is the Message

YHWH invites the people of Judah and Jerusalem to revolt against self-centered government, changing their allegiance from the Persian emperor to YHWH, who is the Lord, the messenger, and the message.

The Politics of Shame: Reflecting on Psalm 25:1-10

In that trust in the divine, one can unashamedly open up their positions and postures because God receives people as they are and as they wish to come. God doesn’t blame and shame any names; rather God calms those who come unto him with the heavy labor of shame.

Christ, the (Subversive) King

If Christ is King, he takes on that role in order to subvert dominant understandings of power and its exercise. Christ turns power and kingship upside down and uses them for new and much more creative and life-giving purposes.

The End of a World is not the End of the World

Jesus’ saying about the destruction of the temple gives us a way to view human structures as the powers they are but also as provisional—as all human things are.

A Widow’s Presence

In her very presence, the widow performs the political act of bringing to light oppression and injustice. Our task is to learn how to see her.

Is God’s Kingship a Progressive Idea?

Kingship is an irredeemably hierarchical, patriarchal form of rule, right? Maybe not, says Psalm 146—if the king is God.

Calling God to Account

Today’s texts are complicated, messy messages of divine justice. Perhaps the best we can learn from Job or Bartimaeus is the courage to call God to accountability.

Seeking Wisdom in the Political Whirlwind

The question I would like to pose this week is whether a theophany of the kind that we find in Job 38 would satisfy people—the aggrieved, the hurting, the oppressed, the battered—as a response to political tragedy.

Christianity Unreconciled with Wealth

Is wealth the opposite of Christianity? Is profit antithetical to the kin-dom of God? A look into Franciscan friar Luca Pacioli’s accounting process – now called reconciliation accounting – reveals that despite Jesus’ words, the practice of Christians in the Western world has emphatically answered: no, they get along just fine. It is high time for a Christianity, guided by Mark 10:17–31, that is unreconciled with wealth.