An open letter

[Explanatory note: The editorial board of AUFS sent the following letter privately to the editors of the Political Theology journal. We are now posting it publicly in the hope of spurring action.]

[UPDATE: Inside Higher Ed has run a piece about this controversy.]

Dear editors,

As scholars working in the field of political theology, we were disturbed to see Martin Katchen’s post “Why the Secular Left Seems Increasingly To Sympathize With Jihadists” on the Political Theology Today blog. Political Theology is arguably the best-known journal in the field. To have such a speciously argued right-wing hit piece—which does not cite a single secular leftist who actually supports jihadist ideology—associated with such an important outlet is an embarrassment and a disgrace. More importantly, within a context of burgeoning Islamophobic policies, practices, and attitudes within Western countries, it is dangerous. We demand that the post be removed and an apology posted, and that the editorial process for the blog be reviewed to avoid such poor judgment in the future.


Amaryah Armstrong, Vanderbilt University
Daniel Colucciello Barber, Institute for Cultural Inquiry, Berlin
Basit Iqbal, University of California at Berkeley,
Brad Johnson, Independent Scholar
Stephen Keating, Chicago Theological Seminary
Adam Kotsko, Shimer College, Chicago
Beatrice Marovich, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks
Marika Rose, Durham University
Anthony Paul Smith, La Salle University