A group of progressive Christian theologians last week released a document called the Boston Declaration that calls on followers of Jesus to fight “poverty, economic exploitation, racism, sexism, and all forms of oppression.”
Initial signatories included a handful of faculty members from the Vanderbilt Divinity School. While most of the signers were from liberal institutions, there also were several representing evangelical ones, including Wheaton College, Baylor University, Azusa Pacific University and Seattle Pacific University.
The declaration was issued Nov. 20 at a meeting in Boston of the American Academy of Religion and the Society of Biblical Literature. The document took aim at evangelical Christians and political conservatives.
“Many Evangelical Christians have embraced the politics of exclusion and hatred, such that the Good News of Jesus has become cover for a social and economic order that can only be understood as bad news for many,” said the Rev. Dr. Peter Goodwin Heltzel of the New York Theological Seminary in a news release. “Responding to Jesus’ courageous call to love ‘the least of these,’ we pray for the conversion of the converted.”
The declaration denounced “white privilege,” lamented “national boundaries that make our worries about security a pretext for destroying the lives of others,” and labeled American exceptionalism “a false ideology.” It also criticized alleged “thoughtlessness with which we use and abuse our planet,” “Islamophobia and anti-Muslim bigotry” and “homophobia and transphobia.”