James Darlack, the resident blogosphere's Jacobean expert, has an interesting post on James' Political Theology. In an article by Stuart Laidlaw on James' Theology, Laidlaw focusses on Barrie Wilson of York University:
Darlack then questions: Does care of widows and orphans, a disdain for economic favoritism and the denunciation of social injustice necessitate "political religion" or prophetic religion? My question is simply: Why [and if so, how?] are these two mutually exclusive? Politics and religion are insepparable, and it was it not the burden of the prophets to influence/direct Jewish politics? Jesus was certainly a prophet, but he was also engaged in serious politics [hence Roman opposition]. Now, while I'm not convinced that either James or Jesus sought to overthrow the Romans and restore the Kingdom of Israel [unless one meant a non-violent overthrow through passive resistance], James may still be a political manifesto for those living under the royal law - the Torah of King Jesus.. . . James was continuing with the teaching of his brother, emphasizing a more political form of religion that stressed the coming of a messiah to overthrow the Romans and restore the kingdom of Israel. . . . The theology of James, with its emphasis on political change as a way to address poverty and injustice, is as relevant today as it was 2,000 years ago, Wilson says.