Theology from the Margins
From where do you do theology? What questions about life do you see to answer? What are your most pressing issues?
There is no theology apart from context. What is your social and class status? What is your ethnicity?
My theology is a theology from the margins. As an African American I come from a community that has been historically oppressed, enslaved, and discriminated against.
Today, my theology reflects my margin status. Jesus was a ancient Jewish man. He was poor. And the quality of his life was nothing more than that of a “slave” (Phil 2:5-11; Isa 53). Although a rabbi (teacher) His life was lived at the margins of his community from where he challenged the meaning of their sacred scripture and the authority of its interpreters. In it he found justification for challenging the assumptions of the religious leaders about their liberation.
The work among his people could be characterized as a slave revolt. He sought to loosen the grip of elite on the presence of God. They failed to do justice on behalf of their people who they lorded over. He brought their God, his kingdom, power, and presence to the marginalized of the House of Israel. He threatened the establishment.
This Jesus identified with his people in their poverty and plight. He feed the hungry, healed the sick, fought for women, raised the dead and forgave sin. He called his community to follow him. And he prepared them to they take up the cross of their community in his absence. He took up their complaint and started along the way to his father’s house where he was guarded and crowed with merchants and their wares. Having purged his house for the prayers of his people, the religious leaders and Roman authorities put him down. But God raised him up vindicating him and his cause.
Jesus is a liberator and hope for divine justice on behalf of the oppressed.