Difficult Texts: Confronting What the Bible Really Says About Poverty, Authority, and the Status Quo

February 3, 2021 - February 24, 2021
Online Wednesdays, Feb. 3, 10, 17, and 24, 2021, 7:30-9:00 p.m. ET
This program is being offered with tiered registration fees. You may pay $25, $10, or $0. To use the discount registration options, please enter one of the promotional codes below during the checkout process. $25: No code needed. Pay the full registration fee option of $25. $10: DT10 Free: DTFree

The Kelso Community Conversation on Race and Faith


From Genesis to Revelation, the Bible proclaims justice and prosperity for the poor: the Exodus is a founding story of God being on the side of the poor and oppressed, the Deuteronomic Code offers commandments that say that how you care for your neighbor is how you honor God, the prophets denounce oppressing the poor, the gospels proclaim bringing good news to the poor, and Paul’s epistles instruct the Jesus followers to offer mutual solidarity through the collection for the poor.

Nevertheless, the Bible is often interpreted in ways that justify inaction in the face of poverty, state that poverty is eternal, and claim that if God wanted to end poverty, God would do so. Rarely in our public discussion or our congregations is there reference to the truly radical economic teachings of the Bible and the call for abundant life for absolutely all.

Join The Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, director of the Kairos Center for Religions, Rights, and Social Justice at Union Theological Seminary and co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival for this four-part Bible study. Sessions will include attention to “the poor will be with you always,” “if you do not work, you shall not eat,” “render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s,” and other biblical roadblocks for a more just society. Come engage in rich discussion of what the Bible really says about the poor, prosperity, and justice and what we are called to do in this moment in history about it.

This event is supported by the James A. Kelso Endowment and co-sponsored by Pittsburgh Seminary’s Office of Continuing Education and Metro-Urban Institute.


The Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis is the director of the Kairos Center for Religions, Rights, and Social Justice at Union Theological Seminary. She is the co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, with The Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, that organized the largest coordinated wave of nonviolent civil disobedience in 21st century America and has since emerged as one of the nation’s leading social movement forces. An organizer, biblical scholar, mother, and clergy member, Liz is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA), teaches at Union Theological Seminary in New York City, and helps lead the Freedom Church of the Poor.

Liz received her B.A. in urban studies from the University of Pennsylvania; her M.Div. from Union Theological Seminary in 2004, where she was the first William Sloane Coffin Scholar; and her Ph.D. from Union in New Testament and Christian origins. She has been published in The New York Times, Time MagazineThe GuardianSojournersThe Nation, and many others including CNN and has given the “Building a Moral Movement” TEDtalk and other distinguished lectures. She was named the Women of Faith recipient from the Presbyterian Church (USA), Selma “Bridge” Award recipient, one of the Politico 50 of “thinkers, doers and visionaries whose ideas are driving politics”, one of 11 Women Shaping the Church by Sojourners, and one of 15 faith leaders to watch by the Center for American Progress.

Liz is the author of Always with Us?: What Jesus Really Said about the Poor (Eerdmans, 2017). She is co-author of Revive Us Again: Vision and Action in Moral Organizing (Beacon, 2018) and editor of the forthcoming book We Cry Justice: Reading the Bible with the Poor People’s Campaign (Broadleaf, 2021).

Continuing Education units/credits are available upon request. For full participation in this program, there will be 0.6 CEs offered. E-mail [email protected] if you would like a certificate.


E-mail [email protected] or call 412-924-1345 with questions about this program.