Empowering Theology: Deconstructing “Divine Favoritism”

Empowering Theology: Deconstructing “Divine Favoritism”, A Critique of Divine Election Theories for the Purpose of Liberation and Justice.

Course Description

This course began as a response to the Israeli/Palestinian conflict in October of 2023, where so many were unaware of the daily suffering of Palestinians, and were advancing the idea of Israel as God’s chosen nation. Lectures in this course will analyze why ancient biblical Israel was considered God’s chosen nation, and how this impacts theological concepts and practical political actions. This course is an engaging exploration of traditional theological concepts through the lens of Black Liberation Theology. It delves into the complex facets of ethnocentrism, othering, and triumphalism that have pervaded the interpretation of theological doctrines, notably the doctrine of election. Drawing from the critical contributions of theologian Cain Hope Felder and his collaborative work in “Stony the Road We Trod” surrounding the doctrine of election as well as James H. Cone, a significant pillar of Black Liberation Theology, this course challenges conventional Eurocentric interpretations that often advocate for oppressive systems based on Election and manifest destiny.¬† By correlating the suffering of Jesus Christ with the struggles of the oppressed people in the world and that black people, This course is a call to redefine theological concepts in a way that empowers the marginalized and challenges systemic discrimination and racial prejudices inherent in mainstream theology. By examining these themes, participants will gain a more profound understanding of the doctrine of election, one that aligns with the liberative heart of the Gospel. The following will be addressed:

  1. Understanding the Foundations: Ethnocentrism, Othering, and Chosenness in Theological Doctrine
  2. Old Testament Interpretation methods  and conquest narratives
  3. Origins of the Doctrines of Election and Discovery
  4. The Struggles of Black Community and Jesus Christ: A Comparative Study in Suffering
  5. Redefining Theology: Empowering the Marginalized & Challenging Systemic Discrimination

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