This week's Wrap was guest curated by Sojourners contributor Jennifer Bailey. Read along for her top stories and notes from the week!
This week, our hearts lamented with the people of France after the horrific tragedy in Paris last Friday. We cried out for the souls lost in the suicide bombings in Lebanon, 120 injured in bomb blasts in Nigeria, and countless other victims to violence in the last seven days.
Last week also saw the start of the trial for Daniel Holtzclaw in Oklahoma City, Okla., unveiling terror of a different name. Holtzclaw, a serial rapist, has been charged with 36 crimes committed against 13 black women, including rape, sexual battery, and indecent exposure.
When unspeakable tragedies happen, our thoughts often turn to seeking justice for those harmed. What has become clear over the past week is that the definition of justice is not always universal. This week, I found myself reading a lot about how different communities relate to the concept of justice in the midst of trauma and systemic oppression.
Here are 10 pieces that got the wheels in my mind turning. I’m hopeful they will do the same for you!
From On Being columnist and director of the Duke Islamic Studies Center Omid Safi. “In those early hours there is no real analysis, only a parroting of ideological perspectives. I find it more fully human to welcome grief, and connect with the humanity of those for whom these tragedies are even more personal, more intimately destructive.”
Terrorists win when we let them divide us in hate and fear. Sheryl Olitzky encourages us to commit to being each other’s protectors by refusing to engage in hate speech and communication.
Kimberly Foster writes in For Harriet about the legacy of sexual assault of African American women and the erasure of that history from our public narratives.
Dr. Yolanda Pierce reinterprets the parable of the Good Samaritan in light of the Daniel Holtzclaw trial, encouraging us to read the text not from the perspective of the Good Samaritan but from the viewpoint of traveler on the side of the road.
Gary Dorien reflects on the oft-neglected black social gospel tradition that grounded civil rights leaders like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
The Pulitzer Center complies longform reporting on Syria, and the stories of the refugees who are leaving it.
“We cannot solve this problem only through prayers. I am a Buddhist and I believe in praying. But humans have created this problem, and now we are asking God to solve it. It is illogical. God would say, solve it yourself because you created it in the first place.”
Alexandra Schwartz reflects in the New Yorker about why terror in Beirut is easy to ignore for people in the West. “The shock has gone out of it — or, rather, the shock waves are absorbed by the city alone, so that the rest of us don’t feel a thing.”
As Latino Christians redefine the U.S. Christian landscape, Maria-Pia N. Chin argues in Sojourners this week, they’re also redefining how Christians understand the biblical call to social justice. Available in English here.
Craig Anderson was headed home to celebrate his birthday with his partner. Instead, he became the victim of a brutal and violent form of racism that many in Mississippi had thought long gone.