Many an important theology has been born out of more than mere reaction, but an urge to address an established evil. Theologians in the past have been rightly scandalized by slavery, abuse, torture, genocide, and reacted with all their being. In a crazy world, it is the calm, sane person who may have the real problem, for they are not responding to what reality is. Simply, the question of theodicy or oppression in a violent world has galvanized theologians like Moltmann, Sölle, Metz, Cone, Copeland, Isasi-Díaz, and numerous others.
I’ve found that often, while there is a social foundation to evil, there is also a specific occurrence that grabs a theologian and never lets go. I myself have found a slew of scandals instances that could function as scandals for theologians in recent years, or at least have scandalized me to one degree or another: the “war on terror,” American torture, neo-colonialism, immigration, the response to Rev. Jeremiah Wright (racism), the sexist treatment of women, to name a few. And this makes me wonder, what will be the theodicy questions and issues that will push us forward in the future? What will we respond to? Have we as a generation yet to be gripped?