Political Spirituality for a Century of Water Wars

The Angel of the Jordan Meets the Trickster of Detroit

  • James W. Perkinson

About this book


This book offers resources for re-imagining the biblical vision of water for a time quickly emerging as “the century of water wars.” It takes its urgency from the author’s 5-year activist engagement with a grass-roots-led social movement, pushing back on Detroit water shutoffs as global climate crises intensify.  Concerned with both white supremacist “biopolitics” and continuing settler colonial reliance on the Doctrine of Christian Discovery, and beholden to an interreligious methodology of “crossing over and coming back,” the text creatively re-reads the biblical tradition under tutelage to the mythologies and practices of various indigenous cultures (Algonquian/Huron, Haitian/Vodouisant, and Celtic/Norman) whose embrace of water is animate and spiritual as well as political and communal. Not enough, today, merely to engage the political battle over water rights, however; indigenous wisdom and biblical prophecy alike insist that recovery of water spirituality is central to a sustainable future.  


urban studies Indigenous studies christology mysticism spirituality watershed discipleship interreligious dialogue

Authors and affiliations

  • James W. Perkinson
    • 1
  1. 1.Ecumenical Theological SeminaryDetroitUSA

Bibliographic information