Abolition is not just about closing prisons. It’s not just about stopping police or closing police departments, but it’s also about abolishing the police in our heads. It’s also about abolishing the prisons in our imaginations that prevent us from thinking about new ways and better ways to treat each other and to keep each other safe.
As apostles of Jesus, in the face of hatred and violence, Christians are called to embody a culture of healing and transformation. Being witnesses to the risen Jesus Christ is an existential commitment to pursue justice and practice love.
For those who experience a divine compulsion to publicly resist the perversions of the powerful, despite their own hesitations and fears, Jeremiah may be an encouraging witness to the potential for an experience of divine presence alongside the pain.
Contemporary African political theologies are a study in contrasts. A prophetic strand challenging unjust politics is alive and well, but so are political theologies that align with unscrupulous politicians and seek wealth at the expense of ordinary people. This dizzying situation raises questions of both substance and method about what African political theology is and how to do it.
Jesus pronounced judgment on the entire system and dismantled it with a whip – modeling for us how to treat egregious distortions of Christian worship that distract from God’s redemptive work. This is not politics “out there,” in the public square, but in house.
The two stories of Luke 15:1–10, which we might call “parables of the remainder,” illustrate a core component of the Christian political orientation. That is, they highlight the alternative logic of much of the Judeo-Christian scriptures that urges us to foster solidarity in community through identification with the remainder, with the least of these, and to thereby bring justice and liberation.