Local Church Responses to Structural Injustice




Coleman, R. Holland

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This thesis explores the ways that Christians can contend for justice in a globalized world at the same time that they are complicit in structural injustice. This thesis first argues that throughout the Scriptural witness justice is characterized as the individual’s care for the neighbor. Next, it demonstrates how structures at the local level mediate relationship between individuals. Third, it argues that the American church in general is ill-equipped to deal with these issues because it has been misshaped by individualism and consumerism, and the practice of material sharing is recommended as a corrective. Finally, this thesis draws upon the work of Wendell Berry and Wes Jackson to argue that an economy of place embodies the biblical concept of justice as care. The argument concludes with a proposal for local church bodies to invest in just structures within their own cities.