Justice in An Unjust World: Foundations for a Christian Approach to Justice

By Karen Lebacqz | Go to book overview

Six
Redress:
Injustice and
the Oppressor

Because God's word to the oppressed is a word of rescue/liberation and of reticence/invitation, the oppressed respond to injustice with rage and resistance. But what should be the response of the oppressor? We have seen in Chapter 4 that God's word to the oppressor is a word of rebuke and requisition. What is the appropriate response from oppressors being confronted with these words?

A methodological difficulty confronts us here. I have stated above my preference for hearing the words of the oppressed—Mang Juan's fish. But now we ask about Mang Juan's birds. Understandably, the fish have largely ignored the question of justice for the birds. By and large, they focus on justice in the ocean, not justice in the sky. They have paid less attention to the response of oppressors than to the need for developing resistance among the oppressed.

Thus it seems that in order to know what the response of the oppressor should be, we must listen to the birds. Yet to accept only what the birds themselves say about justice is to court the danger of a “pie-inthe-sky” justice that adopts the view of the oppressor and ignores justice from the view of the oppressed. If birds had been saying significant things about justice, perhaps there would be less injustice today. Indeed, because justice is not as much of a concern for birds who fly so easily through the air as it is for fish who swim against currents in the ocean, very little has been written by oppressors about justice.1

-103-

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Justice in An Unjust World: Foundations for a Christian Approach to Justice
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 1
  • Contents 5
  • Preface 7
  • Part One: Jeopardy 9
  • One - Rupture: the Reign of Injustice 10
  • Two - Rue: Christian Complicity 38
  • Three - Ruminations: on Ethical Method in an Unjust World 51
  • Part Two: Justice 69
  • Four - Righteousness: Injustice and God 70
  • Five - Resistance: Injustice and the Oppressed 86
  • Six - Redress: Injustice and the Oppressor 103
  • Part Three: Jubilee 121
  • Seven - Reclamation: Justice in an Unjust World 122
  • Eight - Renovation: from Injustice to Justice 136
  • Nine - Ramifications: Implications for a Theory of Justice 148
  • Notes 161
  • Index 189
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