Friday 13 June 2008

Catholic Worker Farm House - Teach in

A group of Catholic Worker's and other friends gathered at the Catholic Worker Farm house to consider to of the trickier passages in the NT: Romans 13 and 1 Peter 2. Not being a group particularly inclined to sumbit to authority and often using disobedience as a necissity of following Christ makes these passages all the more challenging.

We began with a broader look at Paul and his political-religious context (Keith Hebden) and found the traditional reading of Romans 13 out of kilter with his broader thiking. We moved on to a discussion about the language of two Peter led by Catholic Worker's visiting from America.

Then Scott Albrect took us through John Howard Yoder's overview of interpretations of Romans 13. All this and time too for prayer, soup, and more heated debate. As the evening drew in Martin Newell from the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker house in Hackney introduced a newly released DVD about the Cantonsville 9 "Investigations of a flame".

Personally I left with more questions than answers but they were new questions. I am particularly interested in following up more of the experience of Jews living in Rome at the time. What taxes they paid how they were treated by Roman rule and to what extent there life was in danger from other ethnic and religious groups. I suspect these things may shed some light on Paul's pastoral response.