Given the history of othering and control of women’s bodies, it may surprise you to learn that the mikveh has become a central site of Jewish feminist, and more recently, queer and trans activism. Across the United States, Canada, and Israel, participants in a grassroots Modern Mikveh Movement have been collectively reclaiming what many have considered to be among the most irredeemable misogynistic forms of bodily disciplining.
The God present in the book of Jonah is a God who never gives up hope on anyone, even those who have perpetrated the worst evils. Also, the God present here is a God who demands that we repent thoroughly, completely, and without reservation. This is not a cheap reconciliation, but a very costly one indeed.
Life after violence and profound loss requires that we find ways to hold and contain that pain. Relics help us do this. As we wrap them in our words, craft beautiful containers, or place them in vitrines, we keep these memories alive. We acknowledge and respect their ongoing presence in our lives.
The introduction of radically liberative political concepts has profound implications for how communities understand punishment and vengeance. This particular political moment allows for a reconceptualization of power with regard to racism and scripture.
These protests, the victims’ testimony, and the courage of survivors remind us that it is time to turn off the powerful sound of the perpetrators’ dominant voices and tune in to the voices of the oppressed.
During this global pandemic, a theological imagination contributes to helping us draw on a public health approach to our security strategies and shift focus to a just peace framework.
The survivors were oppressed and deprived of their freedom, dignity, identity, womanhood, and youth. However, they are now human rights movement activists, teachers, living testimony of the painful history, and much more.
The journal Political Theology publishes its special issue on Jean Bodin and the Sovereignty of Exclusion