Having spent the last few years engaging academically with the complexities of striving to make a positive change in the world, it is exciting to be able to build on this through the JPIT and House of Commons internship.
I have recently completed my Bachelors and Master’s degrees in International development with Environment and Climate Change at the University of East Anglia and the University of Manchester. Whilst this has helped me to grapple with issues of justice at an academic level, experience with BMS World Mission in Kosovo and UCCF: The Christian Unions has reaffirmed for me the reality of how these complex issues interact with real people’s lives and God’s heart for justice.
Arriving at University, there was a running joke about those of us who were doing a degree in ‘saving-the-world’, full of optimism and a sprinkling of arrogance that we were going to ‘fix things’. However, over three years of study, despair, cynicism and even apathy grew as stories of disaster, corruption and human suffering became case-studies to revise. When looking at how the underlying conditions and cycles of poverty and equality have been exacerbated it was very easy to lose any hope that there could be positive change in our society and our world.
However, despite the seemingly impossible task of making positive change, my faith challenged me to deconstruct my views of the world and the arrogance that assumed I could ‘fix things’. By recognising the sovereignty of our God who has power over all things and who is immeasurably wise and loving, I have hope that fighting for justice through Christ can make the impossible possible.
This led me to engaging with this topic in my Master’s thesis, asking ‘How is hope radically political in climate change activism?’. I believe that engaging in social justice requires a radical reimagining of what the future could look like, based on radical hope centered on who Christ is.
Working with JPIT this year is therefore an amazing opportunity to continue exploring how a Christian worldview offers a radical foundation for a just society. I hope to be challenged as I have the opportunity to engage with real issues. Issues that go beyond academic curiosity, to reflect the heart of our God who is passionate about justice for the silenced, oppressed and marginalised.