Human Immunodeficiency Virus (hiv) Stigma: Spoiled Social Identity and Jürgen Moltmann’s Trinitarian Model of the Imago Dei

in International Journal of Public Theology
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Recent scholarship has conceptually reframed hiv-related stigma as a social rather than individual process that perpetuates and sustains relations of power that devalues persons living with hiv (plhiv). If hiv-stigma is perpetuated by social relationships that are embedded in socio-economic and political structures that insidiously exclude plhiv, and less by ‘spoiled’ individual identity, how does the widely referenced doctrine of the imago Dei inform efforts to mitigate structural forms of hiv-stigma? This paper examines Jürgen Moltmann’s trinitarian model of the imago Dei which suggests that humanity bears the image of the mutually supporting persons of the Trinity. A relationship that is characterized by radical equality that fosters participation in all facets of suffering—an impetus set by the hope established by Christ’s resurrection. It is this divine imago that incites the church to deliberately contradict identities that are spoiled by hiv with one that is of dignity and hope.

Human Immunodeficiency Virus (hiv) Stigma: Spoiled Social Identity and Jürgen Moltmann’s Trinitarian Model of the Imago Dei

in International Journal of Public Theology

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References

1

Mitchell Weiss and Jayashree Ramakrishna‘Stigma Interventions and Research for International Health’Lancet367 (2006) 536–38 at 536.

3

Ervin GoffmanStigma: Notes on the Management of a Spoiled Identity (New York: Simon & Schuster1963).

4

Bruce Link and Jo C. Phelan‘Conceptualizing Stigma’Annual Review of Sociology27 (2001) 363–85.

5

Graham Scrambler and Anthony Hopkins‘Generating a Model of Epileptic Stigma: The Role of Qualitiative Analysis’Social Science and Medicine30 (11) 1187–94.

8

Link and Phelan‘Conceptualizing Stigma’374.

11

Eduardo Bonilla-Silva‘Rethinking Racism: Toward a Structural Interpretation’American Sociological Review62:3 (1997) 465–80 at 465.

12

Mark Hatzenbuehler and Bruce Link‘Introduction to the Special Issue on Structural Stigma and Health’Social Science and Medicine103 (2014) 1–6 at 2.

13

Jonathan Cook et al.‘Intervening Within and Across Levels: A Multilevel Approach to Stigma and Public Health’Social Science and Medicine103 (2014) 101–09.

18

Link and Phelan‘Conceptualizing Stigma’367.

19

Gilbert Gee‘A Multilevel Analysis of the Relationship between Institutional and Individual Racial Discrimination and Health Status’American Journal of Public Health92 (2002) 615–23.

26

Merrill Singer‘Pathogen-Pathogen Interaction: A Syndemic Model of Complex Biosocial Processes in Disease’Virulence 1:1 (2010) 10–18 at 15.

27

David Hodge and Terry Wolfer‘Promoting Tolerance: The Imago Dei as an Imperative for Christian Social Workers’Journal of Religion and Spirituality in Social Work27:3 (2008) 297–313.

30

J. Richard MidddletonThe Liberating Image: The Imago Dei in Genesis 1 (Grand Rapids: Brazo Press2005).

31

BongmbaFacing a Pandemic p. 50.

32

Ibid. p. 47 (original italics).

36

Richard BauckhamThe Theology of Jürgen Moltmann (Edinburgh: T&T Clark1995) p. 14.

37

MoltmannGod in Creation p. 221.

39

MoltmannThe Trinity and the Kingdom p. 221.

41

Jürgen MoltmannOn Human Dignity (Philadelphia: Fortress Press1984) p. 23.

43

Joy Ann McDougallPilgrimage of Love: Moltmann on the Trinity and Christian Life (Oxford: Oxford University Press2005) p. 162.

44

Joy Ann McDougall‘The Return of Trinitarian Praxis? Moltmann on the Trinity and the Christian Life’Journal of Religion83:2 (2003) 177–203 at 186.

45

Miroslov Volf‘The Trinity Is Our Social Program: The Doctrine of the Trinity and the Shape of Social Engagement.’ Modern Theology14:3 (1998) 403–23 at 405.

46

Jürgen MoltmannExperiences in Theology: Ways and Forms of Christian Theology (Minneapolis: Fortress Press2000) p. 317.

47

MoltmannThe Trinity and the Kingdom p. 18.

48

Ibid. p. 198.

49

MoltmannExperiences in Theology p. 316.

50

Jürgen MoltmannHistory and the Triune God (New York: Crossroad1992) p. 60.

51

MoltmannGod in Creation p. 24.

53

MoltmannThe Trinity and the Kingdom p. 221.

55

McDougallPilgrimage of Love p. 182. In the foreword of MacDougall’s book Moltmann wrote how his experiences at the Nazi death-camps of Treblinka and Majdanek led him to follow ‘the path of Christ’s passion and his descent into hell into such depths of evil that the concepts of sin guilt and godlessness were struck out of my hands . . . Can we grasp this reality with moral and traditional theological concepts?’ (Mc Dougall Pilgrimage of Love p. xiv).

56

Isaiah NengeanThe Imago Dei as the Imago Trinitatis: Jürgen Moltmann’s Doctrine of the Image of God (New York: Peter Lang2013).

57

MoltmannThe Trinity and the Kingdom p. 198.

58

Jürgen MoltmannThe Crucified God (Minneapolis: Fortress Press1993).

59

Ibid. p. xii.

60

Ibid. p. 243.

61

Ibid. p. 244.

62

MoltmannGod in Creation p. 227.

63

RobinsonUnderstanding the ‘Imago Dei’ p. 149.

66

Jürgen MoltmannTheology of Hope (San Francisco: Harper Collins1991) p. 22.

68

McDougallPilgrimage of Love: Moltmann on the Trinity and Christian Life p. 162.

72

MoltmannOn Human Dignity p. 23.

73

McDougallPilgrimage of Love p. 158.

75

Refer to Hickel (2012) for an excellent analysis of how high hiv prevalence in Swaziland has arguably been due to declining rates of economic growth formal employment and agricultural productivity have led to labour migration and transactional sex among poor households.

80

MoltmannTheology of Hope p. 21 (original italics).

83

MoltmannGod in Creation p. 227.

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