by Mikah Ochieng, John Tyson, & Jacob Hanger, summer writing team
What is justice?
In a famous essay, Christian ethicist Stanley Hauerwas considers the possibility that pursuing justice is a bad idea for Christians. Hauerwas is not against justice per se, but against theories of justice born in traditions outside of the church, and thus susceptible to social strategies that might contradict the Christian confession that Jesus is Lord. Hauerwas instead encourages Christians to turn to practices of justice inspired by their own scripture and tradition.
With the emergence of each new era, however, those practices take new shapes and forms. Finding an answer to our opening question can only begin by turning to our sisters and brothers who are presently engaged in the struggle to embody the prophetic spirit of Micah 6:8 – to do justice, to love kindness, to walk humbly with God in the streets.
This blog is the first in a fall series on justice. The purpose of this project is to explore the stories of various Anabaptist-influenced sisters and brothers engaged in responding to injustice in their personal contexts. Each of our writers resides in a different location: Washington, DC, Philadelphia, and the suburbs by way of Princeton, New Jersey. Through our conversations, we intend to create a learning space to incite further dialogue on this matter. Each story will be different because every context brings its own struggles and solutions.
This project has three primary objectives:
- To highlight the evolving narrative of justice emerging in our communities.
- To distill common themes present in the public imaginations of individuals who believe justice is relevant to following Jesus in this world, and
- to inspire more to seek justice.
Our own reflections will be steeped in our respective contexts. We understand that they provide only a fragmented picture of our communities, yet it is our hope that these conversations produce new learning that can be applied and practiced in a multitude of different contexts.