We Cry Justice: Reading the Bible with the Poor People's Campaign

We Cry Justice: Reading the Bible with the Poor People’s Campaign

Edited by Liz Theoharis
Foreword by William J. Barber II
Broadleaf Press, 2021

Organized into fifty-two chapters, each focusing on a key Scripture passage, We Cry Justice offers comfort and challenge from the many stories of the poor taking action together. Read anew the story of the exodus that frees people from debt and slavery, the prophets who denounce the rich and ruling classes, the stories of Jesus’s healing and parables about fair wages, and the early church’s sharing of goods. Reflection questions and a short prayer at the end of each chapter offer the opportunity to use the book devotionally through a year.

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Always with Us?: What Jesus Really Said about the Poor

by Liz Theoharis
Forward by William J. Barber II
Wm. B. Eerdmans, 2017

A strong theological call for ending the abomination of systemic poverty.

Theoharis reinterprets “the poor you will always have with you” to show that it is actually one of the strongest biblical mandates to end poverty. She documents stories of poor people themselves organizing to improve their lot and illuminates the implications for the church. Poverty is not inevitable, Theoharis argues. It is a systemic sin, and all Christians have a responsibility to partner with the poor to end poverty once and for all.

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Articles & Interviews


This Midterms, the Bible Reminds Us Poor People Have All the Power

By Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis
November 4, 2022

“Come on, come on, come on! Don’t you want to vote? … Yes, I’m gonna vote … for justice!” was the song that closed out a Zoom rally with hundreds of poor and low-income people, moral leaders, clergy, activists, and advocates who are part of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival. Yara Allen, co-director of theomusicology and movement arts for the Poor People’s Campaign, led the song as participants registered to text bank five million poor and low-propensity voters before the midterms in order to enliven and enlarge the electorate of low-income voters.

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A Conversation with Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis

Interview by Union Theological Seminary
November 2022

“We envision a world without poverty, without racism, without the destruction of the earth. This kind of common good is big, but it is completely possible,” Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis urged. “We have no real scarcity. We just have a scarcity of political will and moral consciousness to do the right thing.” 

Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis is a Union alumna and serves as Director of the Kairos Center for Religion, Rights, and Social Justice at Union Theological Seminary, and Co-Chair of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival.

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Fight Poverty Not the Poor

The Quality (or Inequality) of Life

Assessing the True Extent of Poverty in the Richest Nation on Earth

Tom Dispatch
By Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis
October 27, 2022

Ours is an ever more unequal world, even if that subject is ever less attended to in this country. In his final book, Where Do We Go From Here?, Reverend Martin Luther King wrote tellingly, “The prescription for the cure rests with the accurate diagnosis of the disease. A people who began a national life inspired by a vision of a society of brotherhood can redeem itself. But redemption can come only through a humble acknowledgment of guilt and an honest knowledge of self.”

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US Is Overcome With Debt and Death. Let’s Fight Inequality to Stop This Crisis.

By Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis
October 9, 2022

When the Biden administration announced its debt relief plan in late August, the timing was fitting. According to the Hebrew calendar, this last year, which ended on September 25, was the Shemitah year, a year where debts are forgiven. In the Bible, canceling debt is just one among a set of jubilee laws, which includes freeing the enslaved, feeding the poor, paying fair wages, and conserving and protecting overworked land.

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No More Sacrifices

Mercy Makes Good Policy

Tom Dispatch
By Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis
September 15, 2022

In the American ethos, sacrifice is often hailed as the chief ingredient for overcoming hardship and seizing opportunity. To be successful, we’re assured, college students must make personal sacrifices by going deep into debt for a future degree and the earnings that may come with it. Small business owners must sacrifice their paychecks so that their companies will continue to grow, while politicians must similarly sacrifice key policy promises to get something (almost anything!) done.

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Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis interviewed by Grace Ji-Sun Kim for Madang podcast

Interview by Grace Ji-Sun Kim
Madang podcast
The Christian Century
August 22, 2022

”Here in the 20th episode of Madang, I converse with activist and scholar Liz Theoharis about her new book, We Cry Justice.  

We discuss how she began to co-chair the Poor People’s Campaign, poverty, social justice, basileia, and jubilee. It is an informative discussion on how to read the Bible and get involved in social justice work. This book is challenging and provocative as it provides new ways of reading of the Bible from the perspectives of poor and marginalized people.”

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About the Author

The Reverend Dr. Liz Theoharis is Co-Chair of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival with the Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II. She is the Director of the Kairos Center for Religions, Rights, and Social Justice at Union Theological Seminary. Liz is the editor of We Cry Justice: Reading the Bible with the Poor People’s Campaign (Broadleaf Press, 2021). She is the author of Always with Us?: What Jesus Really Said about the Poor (Eerdmans, 2017) and co-author of Revive Us Again: Vision and Action in Moral Organizing (Beacon, 2018). She is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA).