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In: Biblical Interpretation
In: Congress Volume Oslo 1998
Author: Mark G. Brett


According to P and H, Israelites can in some respects be seen as “sojourners” (גרים) not just in foreign lands but also in the land given to Abraham’s seed. As one would expect, Israelites are also viewed as citizens in their own land, yet ironically this is affirmed in H passages such as Lev. 24:22 and Exod. 12:49 which call for equality between natives and immigrants. The paper suggests that P and H are engaged in a debate with the Deuteronomistic traditions about the significance of political sovereignty and citizenship. The priestly writers mimic imperial symbolism and imply that the “many nations” descended from Abraham (Gen. 17:4), and the “assembly of nations” descended from Jacob-Israel (Gen. 35:11), would embody an imperial rather than national sovereignty.

In: Vetus Testamentum
Author: Mark G. Brett
This book analyses patterns of collective action that emerged during Guatemala’s democratic transition between 1985 and 1996, focusing in particular on the role of indigenous actors in the political processes undergirding and shaping democratisation and the respective impact of the transition upon indigenous social movements. Comparatively little has been written about collective action in Guatemala within the discipline of political science, despite the mobilisation of a wide range of social movements in response to the brutal armed conflict; rather, literature has focused principally on the role of elite actors in democratisation. This study presents a fresh perspective, presenting an analysis of the political evolution of three social movements and their human rights platforms through the framework of social movement theory.
In: Autobiographical Biblical Criticism
Authors: Mark G. Brett and Naomi Wolfe


Through assertions of ‘sovereignty’, modern nation states lay claim to an undivided authority. It is commonly suggested that this kind of political assertion superseded the overlapping authorities of medieval theological imagination. But in settler colonial states, Indigenous sovereignties endure to the present, not washed away by the ‘tide of history’, and in many cases Indigenous peoples embrace Christian identities along with traditional law and custom. The peculiar complexities of Australian history reveal many counter-examples to the conventional modernist tale, and in particular, the article seeks to show how Indigenous Christians snatched the King James Bible from Protestant doctrines of discovery. This discussion comes at an historically significant time as Australian state governments contemplate treaty making with the First Nations, each of whom exercise their own alternative model of sovereignty within local jurisdictions. This article argues that biblical theologies can support the making of modern treaties.

In: International Journal of Public Theology