The Politics of the Empty Tomb

I guest-posted a Scriptural reflection on the politics of the empty tomb earlier today.

Political theology, like many other forms of theology, is in constant danger of quests to secure the stable and settled presence of Christ. It risks denying the continuing reality of his absence and, indeed, how integral absence is to the ascended Christ’s mode of presence in our world. Louis-Marie Chauvet suggests that the presence of this temptation to political theology is most acutely experienced in a moralistic tendency associated with social action. Effacing the absence of the risen Christ, we risk identifying his reign with forms of this world and his salvation with our political visions of liberation. In such a manner, we would return the risen Christ to the safety of his tomb, our political praxis being the memorial of the departed prophet. This is a Christ who can be securely known apart from faith and love.

A truly Christian political theology must start with the experience of Mary Magdalene, with the death of ‘natural religiosity’ and the discovery of the absence of the body of Christ. Our praxis must be thrown open, like the tomb of our risen Lord. Our political activity is not the spicing of a sepulchre, containing and maintaining the presence of Christ’s cadaver. Rather, it is a site of a glorious absence, a sign of resurrection to be believed by those whose loving eyes have been opened.

Read the whole thing here.

About Alastair Roberts

Alastair Roberts (PhD, Durham University) writes in the areas of biblical theology and ethics, but frequently trespasses beyond these bounds. He participates in the weekly Mere Fidelity podcast, blogs at Alastair’s Adversaria, and tweets at @zugzwanged.
This entry was posted in Bible, Christian Experience, Ethics, Guest Post, John, NT, NT Theology, Politics, Theological. Bookmark the permalink.

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