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political reflections theology

imagine, dream, hope

I am teaching Ethics this semester. We are discussing equality and discrimination this week. I couldn’t have planned in advance that on Tuesday of this week, Derek Chauvin’s jury would reach their verdict, and as we were awaiting the verdict, Ma’Khia Bryant, who was 16 years old, was killed by police before the announcement of the guilty verdict for the murder of George Floyd. And on Thursday, two days later, the body-cam footage of the killing of Adam Toledo, who was 13 years old, was released.

I’m writing about trauma and theology for my dissertation. Chapter 5, the last chapter is on Political theology and trauma. Emmanuel Katongole employs imagination and story telling in his political theology. And Catherine Keller argues that we must together create a future even as we are facing apocalyptic times, a time of unveiling, a time of disclosure.

As I taught class yesterday, I got a bit pastoral and preachy. I spoke about hope that is founded on a vision of a new world order, a vision ignited by imagination and faith that we can participate in improving the plethora of crisis we have created. To solve a problem, you have to first see that there is a problem. Otherwise, you wouldn’t take up the work of trying to find solutions to a problem. Similarly, we have to see, imagine, dream, a different world order than the one we find ourselves in. We have to first “see” it in the “eyes” of our body, mind, and spirit before we can participate in transformative work of turning possibility into reality. We imagine. We dream. We hope. So that we can together create a new world.

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