Poverty, Empire and The Bible: Reading the Bible Off-Center (an online study)


Last night about 35 people from around the Greensboro area gathered at First Friends Meeting to begin a conversation around how we can read and re-read the Bible in ways that not only pays attention to our own privileges and biases we take to the text but the lenses and experiences that the text brings to us. We are reframing our reading based ideas from Miguel A. De La Torre’s “Reading the Bible from the Margins“and Wes Howard-Brooks’ “Come Out My People.”

Because the interest in this study extended beyond those who can physically attend the four Thursdays in October we intend to meet, I made an online component to the class using trello.

You can follow along with the Poverty, Empire and The Bible: Reading the Bible Off-Center study by clicking here.

On this page you will find downloads and readings, and will also have the opportunity to comment back and forth with others in the class throughout the week.

If you are unaccustomed to using trello here is where you should start with the class.

A brief description of the study:

In this four-week study, we will look at how to approach the biblical texts in ways that open up the text, center the perspectives and stories of those who are poor and marginalized in society. We will:

  • Look at the intersections of poverty and empire and other forms of oppression and how they pertain to our readings of the Bible.
  • Investigate early Quaker tradition for models of re-reading the Bible.
  • Look at how the Bible provides tools for re-engaging with these critical issues

You can find each session for our four Thursdays in October here:

  1. Session 1 – Reclaiming The Bible as a Liberatory Text (Religion of Creation and Empire)
  2. Session 2 – The Bible, the Poor and Economics
  3. Session 3 – Revelation! Unmasking and Resisting Empire
  4. Session 4 – Tactics for Reading the Bible with Empathy

Thanks for following along.

  • Note – I will be updated each session during the week we do the class. If you find that one session is not full yet, it is because we haven’t gotten there yet.


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...is the William R. Roger Director of Friends Center and Quaker Studies at Guilford College in Greensboro, NC., PhD in Intercultural Studies from Fuller Theological Seminary, served as a "released minister" at Camas Friends Church, and father of three. He enjoys sketchnoting, sharing conversation over coffee with a friend, listening to vinyl and writing creative nonfiction.