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Essays

Sovereignty, the Exception, and the Question of Palestine

Whether through suits before the International Court of Justice, pro bono suits in American courts, appeals to the United Nations, or student-led civil disobedience movements on campuses all over the democratic world, Palestinians and their supporters are attempting to cause a miraculous rupture in the realm of positive law, not to further the arbitrary ends of power, but to further the just and lawful ends of Palestinian freedom.

Good-Hearted Small People Against Weapons of War

As we reflect on what it means to resist vulnerability and consolidate military power, much could be said in connection to our own political moment. Given the proliferation of weapons of war and the investment in such weaponry by nation-states and stakeholders who see buying shares in war-related machinery and technology as a profitable enterprise, the privileging of a good heart—“the LORD looks on the heart”—is a most urgent political posture.

Remembering Jürgen Moltmann

In friendship, Jürgen says, we experience a “broad space” in which we can expand. The power and beauty of the letters between Kelly and Jürgen lies, in part, in the fact that they occupied a wide space that encompassed radically different social locations.

Childhood and the Politics of Atheism

How would the politics of atheism be enriched and deepened by attending the perspectives of children? And how might making space for children shift our conceptualizations of ‘the political’?

The Asbury Revival: For Such a Queer Time as This?

Is revival time a kind of queer time? The suspension of quotidian time during a revival event makes possible a queer time and place, but this possibility must be held in tension with the experience of openly queer people at Asbury, whose presence at the revival caused a furor in the conservative media.

Affect Theory and Political Theology

Recent work in the fields of affect theory, especially in the fields of decolonial theory, queer theory, and disability studies, have shown how the necessity of attending to affect and temporality in ways that move beyond traditional accounts that prioritize inner states over exterior practices.

Indigenous Identity Caught Between Being the Devil and A Hard Place

The politics of identity often has Indigenous persons grappling with the dichotomy of US empire’s labels of the Native American Indian as contaminating evil or contaminated victim. For Indigenous Christians Jesus calls on us to spurn these limiting designations, to embrace the spirit of interdependent creation, which brings us back to a family of justice and life.

Religion and Politics in the Ultimate Election Year

Méadhbh McIvor, special projects editor, interviews Erin K. Wilson on her book Religion and World Politics: Connecting Theory with Practice. They discuss how her book “tries to move us away from this surface-level essentialist thinking about religion and provide people with a practical guide for how to incorporate religion into analysing world politics without over- or under-emphasising its importance.”

PTN Summer Reading Group on Stuart Hall

PTN will convene a reading group on Stuart Hall’s thought.

Asbury, Surprise, and the Fate of American Christian Nationalism

And this brings us to the aspect of Asbury that is either hopeful or depressing. Again and again, what happened in Asbury in February of 2023 is presented as first being centered around the youth and, second, as devoid of the common American strain of nationalist muscular Christianity.

Sibboleth: A Reply to Zadie Smith on the War in Gaza

In taking up shibboleth at the near end of its itinerary from “stream” to “cliché,” Smith shortchanges the capacity of this particular narrative—one of the Bible’s most memorable and disturbing myths of sovereign power—to address what is happening, now, “in the case of Israel/Palestine.”

Work, Life, and the Dissent of the Sabbath

We were not made for the capitalist subjection that characterizes our lives. The gift of the Sabbath serves us in the present by contesting work’s overlordship and disrupting the social controls by which capitalist hegemony maintains itself.