While political theology must possess planetary (global) concerns, it must work locally and collaborate across locales to further understanding, decision, and action to meet those concerns.

Is there a conversation around political theology (as concept, field, method, or however you understand it) from the past twenty years that continues to fascinate you?

Although my own approach to continues to take inspiration from the theological programme of Johann Baptist Metz, the “intervention” of the postcolonial throws down a challenge resonant and critical for the present moment. Postcolonial (and planetary) critiques uncover the necessity for wider and deeper analysis: “debunking, unmasking, and disentangling the ideologies, theologies, and systems of value operative in a particular society;” analyzing the asymmetrical power relations that determine cultural, social (i.e., political, economic, technological) “presuppositions and by evaluating the legitimizing myths that sanction the enforcement of such values” for the wellbeing and flourishing of all life on planet earth.

What conversations working with the concept of political theology do you find most fruitful today? Where do you hope to see discussions of political theology in 20 years?

While political theology must possess planetary (global) concerns, it must work locally and collaborate across locales to further understanding, decision, and action to meet those concerns. Among the many recent egregious assaults on human persons, consider the irruptions of anti-Semitism (especially in the United States and France); continuing racist assaults on black men, women, and children; the degradation of asylum seekers, refugees, and migrants; the deceitful culling of DNA from visible minoritized people (China): These offenses against life––life for all–– continually must be confronted, must be contextualized and clarified in relation to their historical emergence and continuing impact.

20 years, 3 Questions

Symposium Essays

Chelsea Mak

The Bible and Politics

The narrow formulation of the concept of Political Theology as the tracing of Protestant theological categories in contemporary political thought presents some challenge for the historically oriented biblical scholar.

Gil Anidjar

Reflection on the Ongoing Catastrophe

I cannot say that I hope for more discussions of political theology in 20 years. But I do hope for the endurance of conversation, indeed, for the preservation of the art and wisdom of conversation.

Rubén Rosario Rodríguez

The “New” New: Challenging Political and Public Theology

Rather than understanding political theology as a single school of thought, I seek to define political theology as a more inclusive category by looking at the rich historical resources within each of the Abrahamic religions that help each tradition unpack the complex relationship between the political and theological spheres

Wider and Deeper Analysis

While political theology must possess planetary (global) concerns, it must work locally and collaborate across locales to further understanding, decision, and action to meet those concerns.

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Contextual crisis analysis

The question for us, and for the field of political theology, is how do we wish to live in the end?

Danube Johnson

Political Theology and Political Crisis

It seems like an important task of political theology is to critically reflect on moments of political crisis by pulling back the veil on its latent theological content.

Cathleen Kaveny

Law and Political Obligations

“What do I owe my fellow citizens whose conscience reaches different conclusions than my own?”

Faisal Devji

Political Theology in the Absence of Authority

How might we think about political theology in the absence of conventional scriptural, interpretive or institutional authorities together with their conceptual worlds?

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Political Theology, Public Life, and Economic Structures

We are currently seeing folks pause to reflect both on what has historically counted as “political theology” and the ways in which those evaluate norms and frameworks need to shift moving forward.

Aristotle Papanikolaou

Practices and Pluralism

Political theology needs to talk more about the role of religion in liberal democratic spaces such that those spaces are constituted as radically pluralistic.

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