Luke Bretherton is Professor of Theological Ethics at Duke University. Before that he taught at King’s College London. His books include: Resurrecting Democracy: Faith, Citizenship & the Politics of a Common Life (Cambridge University Press, 2015); and Christianity and Contemporary Politics: The Conditions and Possibilities of Faithful Witness (Wiley-Blackwell, 2010), winner of the 2013 Michael Ramsey Prize for Theological Writing. He has extensive involvement in community organizing and has worked internationally with numerous churches, mission agencies and faith-based organizations.
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How to Go On
This is the world as it is: a world that a robust doctrine of sin should teach us to expect but which idolatry seduces us into forgetting. The chasing after idols is always foolish, but some have the luxury to indulge such foolishness at no physical cost to themselves. The election of Trump is a wake-up call to remember what those who are black, brown, queer, disabled, or a religious minority can only forget at their peril: that oppression is likely to get worse, but the struggle goes on; that the absurd becomes normalized, but must nevertheless be ridiculed even to the point where ridicule feels absurd; that love is more real than hate, but real love means hating what is evil; that the space between the world as it is and the world as it should be must be grieved in order to find the hope to go on; that a truly good, happy and meaningful life cannot involve leisure built off the domination of others. No form of life can be good if it does not have in its institutional forms and ends justice and generosity for all, and pursues this in such a way as to foster the agency of everyone, especially the vulnerable and dependent.