In June we featured our GTUx Original The Spirit of Justice to commemorate the powerful steps we have made towards a more equitable society for all. As Dr. David Kyuman Kim says in this GTUx Original, “Justice is about rending the right from the wrong, the good from the evil.” He makes the case that, “Injustice looks like constraint” and that the cause of justice is to elevate and identify the chance to be free. Furthermore, Dr. Kim says, racism is the intentional compromise of the integrity of a people. With these lessons in mind, we’re highlighting some GTUx offerings to help further your learning journey. Are there any other resources you’ve found and would like to share? Leave them in the comments below for our community.
In this GTUx lecture, Dr. Harry Singleton discusses the intersection of race, faith, and American history, while offering powerful solutions to combat the helplessness one may feel in the face of oppression. He offers the following food for thought, “When we use the Word of God as a means of oppressing other human beings because of a distinguishing physical characteristic, we are not being like God.”
Dr. Debra Mumford speaks on the subject of power and how this intersects with larger institutionalized issues such as racism and sexism. She says, “Some of the challenges we have are political. When we have people in political power who want to exercise more power rather than meeting the needs of all of the people, [and instead only] meeting the needs of a few . . . the hoarding of power is an issue.” Additionally, she illustrates how she as the Dean of Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary is working to create an anti-racist institution through conversation and change. Furthermore, she speaks to how faith can and should support this work. Watch Dr. Debra Mumford’s full GTUx lecture.
Leonard McMahon, GTU PhD student, discusses how religion can work as a positive source in our democracy. He says, “It’s good to remember in our history, our American history as well, that religion has often been the source of the healing and repair that has been happening and has happened in our democracy. The Civil Rights Movement is a classic example.” In this GTUx lecture, he discusses how to frame one’s religious faith in conversation with others across the table. Furthermore, he shares how one’s religion can work within oneself to create a deep well of love, compassion, and respect that can create positive change in the outside world from within.
In this GTUx lecture, Dr. Valerie Miles-Tribble beautifully speaks to themes of justice in our society. She says, “Justice requires us to open our eyes, instinctively moving toward a pin of light even if barely visible.” This lecture, entitled “Our Pedagogical Charge: Weaving Hope and Justice into the Gossamer-thin Fabric of Religious Democracy,” explores the intersection of justice, religion, and race in America. You can explore more of Dr. Valerie Miles-Tribble’s work in our GTUx Original Ecospirituality: Environmental Pathways to Healing.
Upcoming GTUx Offerings
Keep an eye out for our upcoming GTUx lecture in partnership with the Faith + Justice Network entitled, “Christianity and the Problem of Race.” This lecture examines the role of Christianity and its problematic representations of race in the founding and establishment of America. Keep an eye on our GTUx Facebook group for more information on when that will be released and where to find it.
Questions for Further Conversations
In the GTUx Original The Spirit of Justice, Dr. David Kyuman Kim discusses both the themes of “Righteous Anger” and “Forgiveness.” How do you see these two themes coexisting? What is the role or purpose of one vs. the other? Are they one in the same or are they two very different concepts? What religious texts do you turn to in order to better understand the roles of these two concepts?
Dr. Kim offers that injustice looks like constraint, whereas justice looks like freedom. Are there examples of this that you have seen in your own life or from historical examples?
In the GTUx Original, Dr. Kim states that racism is the intentional compromise of the integrity of a people. How have you seen this to be true in today’s society? Are there historical or personal examples you can point to that have successfully remedied this intentional compromise?
Dr. Kim proposes that condemnation isn’t enough for the soul, there needs to be redemption. What does this redemption look like? Who is in need of redemption? How can forgiveness and redemption work in conjunction with one another?