Wolves in the airport : Jesus’ critique of purity as a challenge to 21st century surveillance
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This article draws on Jesus’ critique of holiness as purity to build a Christian theological challenge to unjust 21st century surveillance. Categorical suspicion is directed against populations deemed to be risky. The Temple of Ezekiel’s prophecy is set alongside the contemporary airport. Using the analogy of the management of the flows of people into and through sterile spaces, it is argued that purity paradigms have a functional equivalent in the 21st century attempt to control a chaotic world through surveillance by social sorting. The importance of scrutinising those with the power to name categories and the dispersal of notions of ‘risky persons’ into broader social imagination form one direction of critique. The church is challenged as to its reinforcing of unjust stereotypes, particularly of Muslims, and the call of compassion to reach over boundaries, without ignoring the existence of actual dangerous people.
Stoddart , E 2018 , ' Wolves in the airport : Jesus’ critique of purity as a challenge to 21st century surveillance ' Practical Theology , vol. 11 , no. 1 , pp. 54-66 . https://doi.org/10.1080/1756073X.2017.1414483
© Contact Pastoral Trust 2017. This work has been made available online in accordance with the publisher’s policies. This is the author created accepted version manuscript following peer review and as such may differ slightly from the final published version. The final published version of this work is available at: https://doi.org/10.1080/1756073X.2017.1414483.
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