November 11, 2018 far-right Independence March in Warsaw, Poland. Photo credit: Dawid Małecki.
This issue theme hardly needs an introduction. We all know the names and events that have shocked and dismayed much of the world over the last few years: Modi, Trump, Bolsonaro, Brexit (and so many more).
Why, many of us have asked with the psalmist, do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? Didn’t we get over that during the 20th century?
But the raging and the plotting continue. And as this happens, theologies are in play, whether we like it or not. The pieces in this issue do not shy away from that fact, in contexts ranging from Europe to India to Brazil to Appalachia to El Salvador, from philosophy to the Earth’s climate. They cover angles on the Religious Right and democracy, and liberalism, and socialism, and racism.
And, in a departure from our typical content, we also present the first published English language translation of an essay by Hans Urs von Balthasar on integralism (an authoritarian Catholic ideology) along with an introduction from a leading scholar of Balthasar’s work.
Unfortunately, the topic of this issue is not disappearing. But the ideas offered in this issue make contributions to understanding and confronting the theologies of the resurgent far-right as we hope for a future when this work will be unnecessary.
The Editors, May 2022