Special Issue: Social Justice

We invite additional contributions on the topic of Social Justice. Send inquiries to the Editor: beth.snodderly@wciu.edu. Respectful and thoughtful dialog is open to anyone through the comments sections on articles or blogs. Other special issue topics include:

Strategy and Innovation (here)
Leadership (here)
Cross-Cultural Communication / Translation Studies / Orality (here)
Environmental Studies and Creation Care
Community and Societal Development (here)
Social Justice (here)
Area Studies
Disease Origins (here)
Worldview Transformation
Religious Studies
Education

Special Issue: Social Justice

While this analysis of anti-racism is based upon case studies from Black African communities, it also applies to the situation in the United States in 2017 when racist attitudes and actions are publicly resurfacing after having been somewhat subdued by anti-racist legislation and general culture.

Abstract

Complex historical circumstances have resulted in the norms of Western people being globalized. Relatively recent attempts to contest racism relieve the dominant West from taking the “other” seriously on their own terms. Non-Western countries feel obliged to treat their citizens as if they were cultural-Americans, which requires ignoring cultural factors that may be contributing to poverty. Some anti-racist efforts conceal cultural differences under the pretense that they are of biological origin, which is a secular understanding. This, much promoted by the United Nations, obscures character and culture transformations brought about through faith in Christ. Contemporary measures used to counter racism are frequently taken as if they are “good-by-default” and logically necessary. This article points to some more insidious apparent impacts of such assumedly good measures and calls for alternative ways to tackle social ills.

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What is ‘fairness’? It means equality and justice. In this world full of inequality, how can we achieve equality? People often say that men are created equal. However, in a society where second-generations of wealthy people and government officials monopolize opportunities and resources, people are born into inequality. To understand equality, we will need to look at this in a bigger picture, and in a more transcendent perspective.

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The need for international development exists because societies and their land are in chaos to one degree or another. In Isaiah 32 societal chaos is being overcome by the intervention of God’s Spirit. In this chapter we see a metaphorical image of the consequences for societies whose people practice ungodliness, who use wicked schemes to leave the hungry empty, and who destroy the poor with their lies: “The fortress will be abandoned, the noisy city deserted; citadel and watchtower will become a wasteland forever” (Isa. 32:14).

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“Poverty comes under added scrutiny with the environmental crisis. Wherever there is poverty it is directly or indirectly linked to the perversion of justice …”

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The Beatitudes in Matthew 5 give us Jesus’ inaugural address about the Kingdom of God and show us what international development and justice should look like.

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