Political theology intimately understands that given reality teems with forms of life that remain opaque to us.
The subtlety and poetry of Nancy’s language can mask the rigor and the urgency of his thinking. I hope to share that rigor and urgency here, particularly as it relates to global capitalism, Christianity, and ontology.
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.
By spiritualizing place, and thereby transmogrifying place-based identities into racialized ones, Christianity cooperated with the machinations of settler-colonial capitalism in its world-making project. Thus, returning to a consideration of land as one location of God’s action is basic work for any political theology that aspires to move in a decolonial direction.
Those who read Paul’s propertied incarnation in Galatians should not run away from its horrors or theologize them. We should find truth in them (though perhaps not the truth Paul intended). We should tell truth from them.
It is important to notice the ways in which economic language seeps into theology and to be attentive to the ways in which interpretations of scripture can either reinscribe exploitative harm or help imagine alternative possibilities for human flourishing.
I have argued that economic theology should lead to political praxis and change. Economic theology has to open a space for emancipatory politics that resists the capitalist future.
A second expression of relationality is covenant. It is a bond between distinct parties where each gives for the flourishing of the other. Unlike contract, which protects interests, covenant protects relationship.
Rendering to God what was God’s meant offering our lives as living sacrifices of worship to God, as one would offer coins as tax and tribute to one’s sovereign. The human was theologically monetized—or coined—in the name of dedication to God.
In a recent episode of The Word on Fire, Bishop Robert Barron examines Marxism and its relationship to Catholic social teaching. Although rightly pointing out some of the contrasts, Barron neglects the ways Catholic social thought has benefited from dialogue with Marxism.
New issues from the twentieth year of our journal feature articles on Hobbes, poverty, Indonesia, and more, as well as a special issue on Christos Yannaras.
On this, the fiftieth anniversary of King’s assassination, let us not only remember King’s life as prophetic critic but also his advice for living.