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God Loves Diversity and Justice

Progressive Scholars Speak about Faith, Politics, and the World

Edited by Susanne Scholz - Contributions by Pat Davis; Maria A. Dixon; Marc H. Ellis; Victoria Fontan; Serge Frolov; Susanne Johnson; Gordene MacKenzie; Pamela J. Milne; Qudsia Mirza; Nancy Nangeroni; Joerg Rieger; Isam M. Shihada; Nikky-Guninder Kaur Singh and Sze-kar Wan

Both personal and scholarly in tone, this book encourages readers to think theologically, ethically, and politically about the statement that declares: “God loves diversity and justice.” The multi-religious, multi-ethnic, multi-disciplinary, and multi-gendered identities of the eleven contributors and two respondents deepen the conversation. It considers questions such as: Do we affirm or challenge this theological statement? Do we concentrate on “God” in our response or do we interrogate what diversity and justice mean in light of God’s love for diversity and justice? Alternatively, do we prefer to ponder the verb, to love, and consider what it might mean for society if people really believed in a divinity loving diversity and justice? Of course, there are no easy and simple answers whether we consult the Sikh scriptures, the Bible, the Qur’an, the movies, the Declaration of Human Rights, or the transgender movement, but the effort is worthwhile. The result is a serious historical, literary, cultural, and religious discourse that fends against intellectually rigid thought and simplistic belief systems across the religious spectrum. In our world in which so much military unrest and violence, economic inequities, and religious strife prevail, such a conversation nurtures theological, ethical, and political possibilities of inclusion and justice. « less more »
Lexington Books
Pages: 248Size: 6 1/2 x 9 1/4
978-0-7391-7318-3 • Hardback • May 2013 • $63.00 • (£42.95)
978-1-4985-5711-5 • Paperback • March 2017 • $44.99 • (£29.95)
978-0-7391-7319-0 • eBook • May 2013 • $41.99 • (£27.95)
Susanne Scholz is associate professor of Old Testament at Perkins School of Theology of Southern Methodist University. Among her publications are Sacred Witness: Rape in the Hebrew Bible (2010), Lederhosen Hermeneutics: Toward a Feminist Sociology of White Male German Old Testament Studies” (2010), and “Bible and Yoga: Toward an Esoteric Reading of the Bible” (2005). She also blogs for Feminist Studies of Religion, Inc., at http://www.fsrinc.org/users/susanne-scholz.
Introduction: From Progressive Theological Discourse to Changing the World
Susanne Scholz
Chapter 1: God Is Diversity and Justice: A Feminist Sikh Perspective
Nikky-Guninder K. Singh
Chapter 2: As Long As You Are Doing Something: A Secular Feminist Perspective from Canada
Pamela J. Milne
Chapter 3: I AM, Who Loves the Prophets, Loves You: Meditations on the Progressive/Prophetic at the End of Jewish History
Marc H. Ellis
Chapter 4: A World without Tags: A Progressive Palestinian Muslim Scholar Speaks
Isam Shihada
Chapter 5: Class Matters in an Age of Empire: A White Feminist Working-Class American Speaks
Susanne Johnson
Chapter 6: Celebrating Diversity Is Not What It’s All About: A Progressive White Male German-American Theologian Speaks
Joerg Rieger
Chapter 7: Does God Really Love Diversity? Biblical Counter-Examples from a Chinese-American Perspective
Sze-Kar Wan
Chapter 8: Diversity, Justice, and the Bible for Grown-Ups: A Jewish Russian-Israeli-American Hebrew Bible Scholar Speaks
Serge Frolov
Chapter 9: The Exiled Native: The Paradox of the Black Scholar
Maria Dixon
Chapter 10: Justice Is at the Core: The Law, Justice, and Gender Equality in Islamic Feminism
Qudsia Mirza
Chapter 11: Transgender Spirituality: Finding Justice through Activism and Love
Gordene McKenzie and Nancy Nangeroni
Chapter 12: Reflections on “God Loves Diversity and Justice”: A (Modern) Human Rights Perspective
Pat Davis
Chapter 13: Should God Remain? A Response from the Perspective of Peace and Conflict Studies
Victoria Fontan
Fourteen scholars from a diversity of backgrounds, Christian, Jewish, Muslim and Sikh, white, African-American, Asian, believers and non-believers, struggle with this affirmation about God, love, diversity and justice and all agree that together we must work for a world that affirms diversity with justice. A book well worth pondering.
Rosemary Radford Ruether, Claremont School of Theology

The title of this collection of provocative essays makes a bold statement, which most of the authors support with arguments from religious texts and skillful critical analysis, while others dispute or regard as beside the point. An underlying question here is the role religion plays in upholding justice and celebrating diversity, toward healing the wounds of our fragmented and ailing global community. Religious believer or not, the reader is challenged to think, and to take a stand for oneself.
Ruben L.F. Habito, Southern Methodist University