Justice and Divine Judgement: Scriptural Perspectives for Public Theology

in International Journal of Public Theology
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Abstract

From Jewish and Christian Scripture this article retrieves conceptions of justice and divine judgement with the potential to contribute to the public good. Although justice is not a homogenous concept in Scripture, there is a justice-trajectory that is more restorative than retributive and, as such, has profound public import. Through the discussion of scriptural justice this article raises the question of the role of Scripture in public theology. While affirming that justice is a central scriptural concern and therefore indispensable to Christian faith and practice, in this article I also explore the nexus between justice and divine judgement, with a view to indicating by means of inner-biblical critique that divine judgement, no less than justice in the biblical tradition, leans towards restoration rather than (solely) retribution. Special attention is paid to the work of Karen Lebacqz and Dan Via, and Mt. 11:2–6 is also discussed.

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