Streams of Justice is a social justice group rooted in the prophetic trajectories of the Judeo-Christian tradition. As such we draw from the currents of our faith heritage that challenge oppressive power and call for the establishment of justice.
We engage in this task disturbed by the historical role Christianity has played in legitimizing and supporting structures of domination, oppression and genocide. We painfully acknowledge the ways Christian religious institutions have authorized and imposed practices of exclusion, discrimination and punishment on the minds, bodies and spirits of individuals and entire communities. We recognize that the struggle for justice and liberation against forces of oppression requires a vigorous engagement on many fronts, including our own religious traditions and accompanying institutions.
SoJ emerged out of a series of evening presentations called “Reading the Text / Reading the World” in the fall of 2006. The idea of these forums was to juxtapose social justice issues within our local context (e.g., homelessness, poverty, refugees, drug addiction) and radical readings of the biblical witness that could shape a vision for prophetic political engagement.
The past 7 years of action and reflection have shaped a theological-political perspective that might be summarized in this way: faith in a God of love and liberation, and allegiance to the one crucified as a threat to imperial power and its mechanisms of social control, call for an anarchic stance of solidarity with the victims of oppression, resistance against structures of hierarchical power, and resolute commitment to the struggle for justice and human dignity. This vision continues to animate our work, as we deepen our analysis and expand our actions.
Over the Years …
Throughout its history, SoJ has attempted to explore the biblical traditions of solidarity, resistance and liberation, and bring them to bear on its work for justice within the local context. In addition to ongoing “Reading the Text / Reading the World” forums, we created two multi-media productions that have woven counter-imperial readings of the biblical text into dramatic presentations of pressing social issues. “Trouble in Paradise: Being Poor in a World Class City” exposed the structures of inequality that produce and criminalize poverty and homelessness, and “A Tale of Two Visions” contrasted the dynamics of power operative in the spectacle of the Olympics and the vision underpinning the grassroots movement that gathered around Jesus. We performed these presentations on many occasions primarily in churches and theological institutions in an effort to awaken within faith communities the call to justice and its practical, material import.
In addition, we have participated with other faith-based groups in a variety of events and actions (e.g., Missions Fest, Interfaith Institute, Servants Vancouver, etc.), and in 2011 and 2012 hosted a series of discussions on charity vs. justice for faith organizations and churches. Most recently, SoJ held a 4 part series on exploring the prophetic praxis in our faith tradition, and how it impacts and inspires our engagement in the fight for justice in our world.