Theology and Power! (Intro)

I am deliberately intersecting this ‘Reimagining the UK series’ with the ‘My Manifesto for the UK post-Brexit’ series – sorry if it gets confusing!

Ok – first of all a disclaimer – this is my limited perspective on some very complex issues. Although I read quite a bit around all of these subjects, and there are some great books I will recommend as I go along,  I come at this from the angle of a diagnostician. I am also a white, privately-educated, “middle-class”, married with 3-kids, “christian” male and so I recognise an inability to communicate as an oppressed or “disempowered” person – because I am not. I occupy a position of power and strength and I know much less today than I knew when I was 18 (I am now twice that age – and therefore still relatively young and naive).

I have learned some extremely important lessons over the last couple of decades. Here are a few of them: Firstly, it is very important to question things. Secondly, it is also fine to be wrong and to fail – we learn from our mistakes. Thirdly, although I am a very future orientated person, sometimes in order to reimagine other possibilities, we need to have an understanding of our journey and face up to our past. Fourthly, our perspectives can change and letting go of previously held ideals and strongly held views can be a painful and humbling process. Fifthly, it is better to seek to understand than to point the finger and judge someone (often out of fear or arrogance) who holds a different perspective. Sixthly – not all perspectives are right or equally valid, but that does not mean we cannot talk about things we disagree with in a kind manner. My hope is not to create an idealized utopia, but to encourage us on a journey that is more loving, kind and hopeful towards a future of positive peace.

I wrote a blog a couple of posts ago, entitled “Reimagining the United Kingdom”. In it, I expressed a view, that much of where we find ourselves as a nation, particularly in the political climate, has been shaped by centuries of theological, philosophical and ontological perspectives, some of which have become the more dominant narratives of our day. I am so grateful for the academic work and light shone by those who have taken the time to unpack some of this and challenged us to look a bit more deeply at our roots and journeys. This will take a few posts to unpack. I will be particularly looking at this from the angle of the christian/Christendom narrative and so if this doesn’t float your boat, please don’t read on!

 

If you are into delving into some of these issues in a bit more depth, I would recommend the following (in no particular order):

Sacred Economics – Eisenstein

Peace Economics – Galtung

People Over Capital – Rob Harrison (Ed)

Economics of Good and Evil – Sedlacek

Post Capitalism – Mason

Church, Gospel and Empire – Mitchell

State of Exception – Agamben

Theopolitical Imagination – Cavanaugh

The Prophetic Imagination – Brueggemann

Disarming Scripture – Flood

The Immoral Bible – Davies

Parables as Subversive Speech – Herzog

Say to This Mountain – Myers et al.

The Politics of Discipleship – Ward

The Fall of the Church – Mitchell

Discovering Kenarchy – Mitchell & Aram (Ed.)

Falling Upward – Rohr

The Uncontrolling Love of God – Oord

A More Christlike God – Jersak

 

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