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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

Rather than falling prey to a stultifying pessimism regarding the continuous existence of evil, injustice, and oppression in our world, as Christians we should rejoice that God is in control of history, and that even evil will ultimately work to realize the glorious future of God.

From a political perspective it becomes vital then to stave against the self-imposed silence the brothers experienced and to hear clearly the voices of those we have cast into the pits of the earth.

Jacob’s biography is not a blueprint for activism, but perhaps a helpful model for what the church looks like in a world of empires, or at the very least a reminder that power can exist outside of prescribed structures. The story of Jacob empowers the marginalized to secure their own justice while reminding of the importance of confronting empire directly.

A Reflection on Romans 8:26-39, Sixth Sunday after Pentecost

Does this text foster or critique violence? Perhaps the text should be read as anti-political or an alternative politics? Or does it get at the question of our most sacred idol, the family?