6/06/2007

Rachel Muers and The Journal of Scriptural Reasoning

Another find I made from the comments on Wess Daniels's post An apologetic for a Quaker theology:

Rachel Muers is a British theologian at University of Exeter and a Quaker. She has written a book entitled Keeping God's Silence: Towards a Theological Ethics of Communication, which looks interesting. She contributed to Towards Tragedy, edited by Pink Dandelion.

She also was the guest editor of a special issue of The Journal of Scriptural Reasoning on poverty and debt-release: Linked here.

Here's a section of her essay in that journal; written in an academic style, I found it insightful:

It is important to note, finally, that the connection between forgiveness and daily bread, and between both of these and forms of discourse about God, is, as the work of scriptural reasoners reflected elsewhere in this journal issue suggests, not merely metaphorical. A shortage of forgiveness is materially connected with a shortage of daily bread, and vice versa. This becomes particularly apparent when we consider, with a critical and troubled eye on the contemporary world situation, the unsustainability of debt....

It is possible that, if most people in the world know this about debt, and yet things continue as they do, the logical and also (for theologians) rather unsurprising conclusion is that most people most of the time do not desire life enough to choose it above death and/or the fear of death. And hence that, if there are people who do desire life, enough to say prayers like this or to recite suras like this, the fostering of that desire - discourse on the past and future "bounty of the Lord," speech about the Kingdom of God, the singing of songs of ascents [eg The Lord's Prayer or Sura 93 in the Q'uran] is itself a crucial step towards a different economics.


Lord, forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

2 comments:

quietpaths said...

Great ear-mark on her writing. I will have to absorb it further. I'm not sure how one can approach poverty and the subsequent debt without also addressing greed head on; perhaps further reading will reveal how she addresses this. Thanks!

Chris M. said...

@quietpaths: I'd be interested to hear what you learn, whether here or (more likely) on your own blog.

-- Chris M.