Author Archives: Susan Thistlethwaite

About Susan Thistlethwaite

I am President Emerita and Professor Emerita of Chicago Theological Seminary; I write for the public here and in local papers. I am interested in what I call "public theology," or how deeper meaning is made and contested in the public square.

“We are legion”: The demonic nature of police militarization

Looking for a biblical perspective on the militarization of the police in Ferguson, Missouri and the gross civil rights violations there? Try Jesus on the Roman military presence in ancient Israel for a trenchant theological critique of how demonic this kind … Continue reading

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“It’s not your fault”: Jesus, forgiveness, and Robin Williams

One of the hardest things for people to do is forgive themselves. Compassionate connection, one person to another, can be a way people can touch the pain of wrongs done to them, or by them, and begin to let that … Continue reading

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#YesAllWomen, and #YesAllWomenDifferently

I wrote about #YesAllWomen for the Huffington Post and the fact that there is a war on women.  Their bodies are the battlefields, and there are injuries and casualties. The point I make in that article, and one I want … Continue reading

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“Happy” Easter: A fundamental truth

I heard from so many people that they had added thoughts from my Huffington Post “Is Easter ‘Happy’?” column to their Easter sermons.  Getting this feedback from people is my favorite thing about writing in the public square. “Happiness is … Continue reading

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Can corporations get pregnant?

The “personhood” of corporations is a legal fiction, but there is nothing remotely fictional about getting pregnant. I have born three children and know this indisputable fact quite well. Yet, remarkably, this week lawyers will actually argue before the U.S. … Continue reading

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New Social Gospel Reading List

For all those who have wanted to know what sources I am using in my online class, The New Social Gospel, this spring, here you are: The class method is taken from Freire. Read definitions. Susan Thistlethwaite, #OccupytheBible: What Jesus … Continue reading

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“Trickle Up”: The Theology of Pete Seeger

Did Pete Seeger have a theology? I think so, and it is best captured in a song he wrote toward the end of his life, “God’s Counting on You, God’s counting on me.” There’s theological anthropology, a doctrine of creation, … Continue reading

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Jesus, torture and homophobia in Nigeria

Melissa Block of NPR interviewed Michelle Faul of the Associated Press from Lagos about reports from human rights advocates in Nigeria that dozens of gay men have been arrested under a new law that makes homosexual clubs or associations illegal. … Continue reading

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“God’s Economics”: A Pastoral Letter for 2014

I have been inspired by a Facebook thread to repost this UCC Pastoral Letter I wrote on the church and economics in 2008, at the height of the financial crisis.  The letter is reproduced below. The economic crisis has actually … Continue reading

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Duck, Duck…Goose! The difference between real and fake persecution

Now we have the “War on Christianity” according to right-wing sources. “Phil Robertson and his family believe that A&E [is] discriminating against them for their deeply held ‘Christian beliefs.’” Robertson was suspended from his “reality” TV show, Duck Dynasty, for … Continue reading

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