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All posts tagged slavery

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The Making Of Abstract Humanity – How The Invention Of Money Propelled Slavery (Roland Boer)

As part of our research for a book called Time of Troubles, Christina Petterson and I have been developing an approach to understanding slavery. It is predicated on the Roman legal invention of absolute property. In the late second century BCE, Roman jurists first defined absolute private property as the […]

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Satan’s Temptations in Dostoevsky and Tolstoy (Caleb Upton)

Fyodor Dostoyevsky in his masterpiece ‘The Grand Inquisitor’, as well as Lev Tolstoy in his The Gospel in Brief, both comment on, recapitulate, and in some manner ‘translate’, the story of Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness (Matt. 4:1-11; Mark 1:12-13; Luke 4:1-13) with varying interesting results. Let us compare Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy, and the Gospel accounts together to see how this story serves not only as Dostoyevsky saw them . . . nor only as Tolstoy saw them . . . but also as a profound critique of our current economic geopolitical situation, and pointing to our way out of the systems that enslave us.

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Weird John Brown: A Response to Cavanaugh, Day, Holifield, Murphy, and Ochs (by Ted Smith)

. . . In the book I think about what it would mean to see Brown as a “Great Criminal” who did wrong but can still be read as a sign of a divine violence that breaks the hold of the slave system on social imaginations and so makes possible not just new ways of seeing the world, but new ways of acting, new ways of connecting with others, and new ways of deliberating together.

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A Politics of Penitence and Repair: Addressing America’s Racial Wounds (Keri Day)

I think that a politics of penitence and repair can disrupt old divisive racial patterns, potentially enabling the emergence of new racial communities not marked by old forms of racial hatred and violence. Smith’s argument for penitence and repair is compelling and I do think that a Christian political theology calls upon us to consider these two important practices. Smith presents a theological discussion of pardon that eventually takes us to repentance and repair when addressing racial wounds.

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Weird John Brown and the Uses of Elusiveness (E. Brooks Holifield)

In conjunction with the Marginalia (part of the LA Review of Books), Political Theology Today has organized a symposium on Ted Smith’s extraordinary new book Weird John Brown: Divine Violence and the Limits of Ethics. Over the coming two and a half weeks, we will host responses to the book from E. Brooks Holifield, William Cavanaugh, Peter Ochs, Keri Day, and Andrew Murphy, concluding with a response to the responses by author Ted Smith. Here is the first response, from E. Brooks Holifield of Emory University.

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