“The Political Theology Network aims to be a hub for exploring the intersection of religious and political ideas and practices. The Network is interdisciplinary, publicly engaged, and committed to building links between theologians, practitioners, and humanities scholars. Riding a wave of scholarly interest in political theology that itself follows the increasing visibility of religion in public life, the Network seeks to create the infrastructure that will allow this interest to flourish in the long term, supporting discussions of political theology in the classroom, in scholarly research, and in the public arena.”
This series contributes to the emergent work of the Political Theology Network by facilitating conversations between academics and activists that explore what political theology as an academic discipline can both contribute to and learn from political engagements. What resources might political theological scholarship offer to those working towards a more just society through activism and community organizing efforts? How might political theology as an academic discourse be strengthened and shaped by the insights of activists, by community leaders, and organizers participating in the production of knowledge?
Taking its name from a foundational practice of community organizing, “the relational meeting,” developed by the Industrial Areas Foundation and utilized by a range of faith-based community organizing groups including Gamaliel Foundation and PICO National Network as well as by union organizers, this series will consist of conversational interviews between academics and activists, broadly construed. These conversations will explore the intersections between religion and politics as they collide with—or, perhaps, in order to better forge—intersections between academic political theology and political engagement. In these conversations, this series also aims to highlight and attend closely and carefully to difference, highlighting diverse voices and communities that are (and/or that fail to be) represented and served in political theology and political engagement. To make things explicit, we want to hear from women, people of color, immigrants, residents of the Global South, queer folx, religious minorities, and other under-represented voices.
In a post anticipating the launch of the Political Theology Network, Roberto Sirvent asks, what is political theology? But rather than providing a clear answer, he calls for “messy collaborations,” in order to better think and imagine together what political theology is and might look like in the future. This series seeks to both pursue and inhabit such messy collaborations.
If you are interested in contributing to this new series, email Brandy Daniels at brandydaniels (at) gmail.com.