End of the Road…for now…

14 09 2010


It’s hard to believe I’ve come to my last full day in South Africa. After ten weeks full of travel, interviews, workshops, sightseeing, and coffee shop exploring, I’m now getting ready to board a plane back home to Chicago.The last week has been spent doing some reflecting, meeting with a few more contacts, and trying to soak up as much of South Africa as possible. I want to wrap up my travel blog with some of these final reflections. To start, since my trip was roughly divided into three parts in three cities, I want to reflect individually on each city.

Cape Town: Arriving in Cape Town, I had no idea what to expect apart from my general knowledge of South Africa.

Table Mountain, Cape Town

I did not know whom I would meet, what I would see, or how easy it would be to adjust to new surroundings. I think Cape Town was the ideal city to start my travels (I picked it—as opposed to starting in Jo’burg—because I would arrive in Cape Town after the last soccer match was held there, making accommodation easier). Cape Town is very tourist-oriented with lots of things to see and do outside of meeting with contacts; this made it very easy to slide into South African life. The city is also very easy to get around: most places were accessible on foot; an easy cab or train ride made anywhere else a quick trip. By the time I left Cape Town, I felt like I had a working knowledge of South Africa and that I had begun to sink my teeth into the questions I was looking to answer with regards to my research.

Pietermaritzburg: In terms of tourist activity, Pietermaritzburg was much smaller, so there was significantly less to do in terms of sightseeing (particularly without my own transportation).


However, there was plenty to do here in terms of my project: attending classes, conversations and meetings, and most importantly going out to different workshops with the Ujamaa Centre. When asked why I had chosen this project in this country, my answer was always some version of this: Reading Gerald West’s work on Contextual Bible Studies grabbed my interest and excitement, and I wanted to learn more about it. But unlike many ways of reading the Bible, studying this method requires an understanding of context; it cannot solely be represented in a book or an article. So, I wanted to see and learn about Contextual Bible Study off of the pages. After a month in Maritzburg, I feel like I got a great taste for the method and how it is done in practice and how this informs the academic writing done on it. I left feeling like I had seen what I was hoping to see; however, I also feel like there is still a lot more I could have done if I had more time. I think this is always a good way to feel.

Johannesburg: Johannesburg has been an interesting experience. In Cape Town, I felt like I was learning about the context in which I wanted to explore Biblical Studies. In Pietermaritzburg, I was digger deeper into the actual study of the Bible.


In Jo’burg, I felt like most of my meetings were returning me to the “first step,” yet with the knowledge of what I had experienced previously. At times this was difficult because it feels like taking a step back. At the same time, I have met with some interesting people; stepping back has helped me to start reflecting on my experiences. Jo’burg has been lots of fun, and through the help of friends and contacts, I’ve managed to see a good bit. But transport in this city is very difficult without a car: I can walk to places in the area I am staying (basically, restaurants and bookshops), but to get anywhere out of Melville, I need a ride. You would expect that in such a place, taxis would be thriving; but the taxi system is very disorganized, and I have often waited twenty minutes for a cab to come. A small complaint for an otherwise great trip, but if I come to Jo’burg again, I would make arrangements to have a car in advance.

So, where am I in terms of my project? I feel like I have seen what I hoped to see; there’s a lot more I would like to have done, but this requires more time.


I see what I’ve left undone not as a failure but as a reason to return! As I’ve demonstrated on the blog, I’ve found interesting new questions to bring to biblical texts, and I have seen and heard many interesting interpretations of the Bible. I’ve come to understand more fully West’s method of Contextual Biblical Studies. As I return home, one of the major questions that I am considering is how this method, which has been formed uniquely by the South African context, can be applied to my context in Chicago. I’m looking forward to considering this more, especially once I’m settled into my own context.

Finally, how has this trip impacted me personally? I’ve certainly learned a lot about myself, particularly about how I settle and adapt when I am on the move in an unfamiliar context. As I’ve moved out of my normal boundaries and borders, I’ve discovered which borders are important to me and which borders I need to cross more often. I’ve also refreshed myself: until this summer, I had not taken a real break from school (since I spent last summer in intensive Greek); ten weeks is the longest I’ve been away from Chicago since moving there. Breaking my routine has allowed me to become reinvigorated for the next year; being out of the classroom has made me ready to re-enter it. This summer has been a great and fun learning experience; I’m sad to leave (though already plotting the next adventure!) but also excited to return home.


Morgan Freeman, Matt Damon, Rugby, and FIFA

6 09 2010

On Friday night, I went to my first live rugby game with the young adult group from St. Columba’s Presbyterian Church. The game was played at Ellis Park Stadium, where the South African Springboks famously won the 1995 World Cup, one year after Nelson Mandela was elected president. The game pitted the home team, the Gauteng Lions, against the Western Cape (the province that surrounds Cape Town).

Rugby! The Gauteng Lions are in red/white; the Western Cape players are in blue/white stripes.

I had been warned going in that the Lions had been performing dismally in recent years and were not expected to win; however, they managed to pull out a landslide victory of 46-28. The second half was especially exciting since the Lions came from behind to fairly quickly take a substantial lead. I won’t try to explain the game or the rules of rugby because they are still fairly unclear to me; but I did begin to understand at least a small part of the game play. And if I did not understand, I had a large stadium of fans to watch for when to stand and cheer!

After having seen a rugby game and been to Ellis Park, I decided it was time for me to rent and watch Invictus, which is a recent (American) movie telling the story of the road to South African victory in the 1995 World Cup.

Ellis Park Stadium. In addition to holding rugby games, it was also a site for soccer games during the World Cup.

Morgan Freeman plays Nelson Mandela; Matt Damon plays Springboks rugby team captain François Pienaar. Overall, it is a great story and a well-done movie; I enjoyed watching it and would certainly recommend it to others. However, it was very interesting to watch it having been in South Africa for two months. For starters, neither Damon nor Freeman sound like any South African I have ever met. That’s definitely something I would not have noticed before being here, and it surprised me that I noticed it so quickly.

It was very interesting to watch the euphoria portrayed after the Springbok’s victory. The drama from the movie comes from the fact that South Africa has just come out of the apartheid regime, and there are many unanswered questions about how to create a united country when most lines are still drawn racially. Rugby is a prime example because rugby was seen as a white sport during apartheid; the Springboks in particular were seen as representing the apartheid government. Those who opposed apartheid would often support and cheer for the opposing team. Mandela’s support of the Springboks and the national euphoria portrayed in the film after the country’s victory demonstrates the idea of unity that this event brought.

So, fast-forward fifteen years: the 2010 Soccer World Cup in South Africa. Watching the excitement in the film reminded me of the national unity that I saw during the World Cup. However, although Bafana Bafana (South Africa’s national team) did not make it past the first round, my perception is that this World Cup brought an even great sense of pride, euphoria, and unity to South Africa. The entire country came together, not only to cheer on their national team (and then Ghana when South Africa was eliminated, “BaGhana BaGhana”), but also to create excitement about South Africa and to display national unity off of the field. Many drivers still sport South African flag covers on their side mirrors. Reflecting on the film and this experience, it has been exciting to see how national unity seems to have grown in the past fifteen years, and hopefully it will continue in the years to come.

Constitution Hill

3 09 2010

Yesterday, I spent the morning on Constitution Hill near the center of Jo’burg, which is the location of the Constitutional Court, the highest court in South Africa.

The court building. On the facade, "Constitutional Court" is written in all eleven official languages of South Africa

Similar to the U.S. Supreme Court, members of the court are appointed by the President (though they only serve for one non-renewable twelve year term), and this court deals solely with issues related to the country’s constitution. The South African constitution is especially interesting because it is one of the most liberal constitutions in the world in terms of rights and freedoms guaranteed (I believe it is the only constitution that includes a proviso against discrimination based on sexual orientation). This is especially notable because the constitution is more liberal than the majority of the population, who do not necessarily support certain provisos like the one above.

The area of Hillbrow, which is directly next to Constitutional Hill. Presently, it is regarded as one of the more dangerous areas of the city.

The liberal guarantees of freedoms and human rights rises directly from the recent memory of apartheid. There is a strong desire to create a new South Africa, a “rainbow nation,” where no one will ever faced the discrimination and oppression of the past. The location of the Constitutional Court and the museums created on Constitutional Hill demonstrate this commitment to remembering the past in order to create a more equal future.

Constitution Hill is built on the site of the Old Fort prison, which was one of the most notorious prisons in the country. Nelson Mandela awaited trial here; Mahatma Ghandi was held in the prison.

A staircase of the Awaiting Trial block. Four staircases are all that remain of this section.

A large portion of the original structure has been torn down to make way for the new court building, but bricks from the original have been preserve and used to build the new court. Further, the original prisons have been turned into museums that are accessible to the public. As the Constitutional Court brings about forward-thinking change based on the new constitution, its members and the public are vividly reminded of the past in order to keep it from ever being recreated.

Having been to so many museums alone (and finding the Hill to be fairly daunting in terms of things to see), I decided to take a tour with a guide (since one was gathering soon after I arrived). While I usually dislike guided tours (because you cannot move at your own pace), I really enjoyed this one. We were given plenty of time for exploration, got additional information, and got a chance to go into the court building, which was not supposed to happen this day because the court was in session. Also, it was nice to be with a group!

Women's Jail Hospital: "My son was born here. It affected him forever."

Our first stop was the women’s prison, which was separated into two sections: one for white women and one for non-white women. The description of conditions in the non-white section was shocking: little food, harsh conditions, little time spent outside of the tiny concrete cells.There was a small, inadequate in-house “hospital.” Many children were born here; women described being eight months pregnant when they were arrested and detained. These children stayed in the prison with their mothers, contributing to the inhumane harshness of the prison conditions.

In contrast, the white women’s section seemed like a hotel. The cells were significantly larger and held fewer prisoners. They included beds, toilets, and some even had hard wood floors. This is not to say that the prison was wonderful, but it was nothing compared to what I saw and heard about the non-white section.

The second stop was Number Four, the prison for non-white males. The conditions described were horrendous: one sign described it well, “This jail was not designed for rehabilitation but for punishment.” And the punishment was brutal. There was little food and water, toilets and showers were limited, men were kept inside for twenty-three hours per day. Alex La Guma, a famous author (I’m current reading his collection of short stories A Walk in the Night), was held here and described the conditions as the breeding grounds for diseases like typhoid.

Recreation of sleeping conditions in a men's cell.

Within cells built to hold thirty (in cramped conditions), sixty men were often held due to overcrowding. These cells were maintained by prison gangs, the leaders of which would create “luxurious” conditions for themselves by forcing those at the bottom of the prison totem pole to give up their food, blankets, space, and shower time. La Guma paints a picture of this system in his story “Tattoo Marks and Nails.” The gang leaders were often the “hardened” criminals (those arrested for robbery, assault, murder), while those who receive the worse abuse were political prisoners (who were often described to wardens as “terrorists”). Even worse than these conditions wee the isolation units, which often held political prisoners. Here, the diet was tiny and then men were often abused, only allowed out of their cells for one hour each day.

I feel like my descriptions do not to justice to the reality of these conditions. The men and women held in these prisons were treated brutally; it is a reality that is difficult to face and even more difficult to describe.

"Church services were conducted on a patch of lawn next to the apple tree. For the prisoners, this time was 'heavenly' because, for once, they were allowed to sit outside in the sun."

However, it is powerful to see this reality on the site of the Constitutional Courts, where important decisions about freedoms for all South Africans are made. While this past is difficult and terrible to face (and can bring about painful memories and anger), it is important that this history continue to serve as a reminder as to why valuing human rights (as the South African constitution does) is a crucial task. I’m further impressed by this piece of living history because it keeps the Constitutional Court accessible and accountable to all South Africans.

I completed my time on Constitution Hill by meandering to the Old Fort, where white men were imprisoned. While there, I walked along the fort’s ramparts (humming the Star Spangled Banner, “o’er the ramparts we watched….” I don’t think I’ve ever been on the ramparts of a fort before).

On the ramparts...

After the difficulties of seeing the jails, it was nice to walk along the ramparts, which provide a little bit of a 360-degree view of Jo’burg, again a vision of a new South Africa being formed as well as a reminder of the past and present inequalities. Overall, it was a very thought-provoking and insightful morning.

Jo’burg: The Final Leg

1 09 2010

It’s hard to believe that I’m now in the last portion of my trip; though I have seen and done a lot, it still feels like I have only just begun to scratch the surface. As I look back to the days before I left, I remember being concerned that I would get stuck, that my contacts could fall through, that it was going to be a long and lonely ten weeks. For the most part, it’s certainly been the opposite (to my relief!).

So, Thursday evening I landed (for the second time) in Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport…but this time, I got to leave the airport.

The sprawling city of Johannesburg, as seen from a hill at the Apartheid Museum.

I was picked up by Raymond, a friend of a good friend back in Chicago; Raymond is renting a house in Melville (a trendy area of the city) and works for the Jesuit Institute. He is kindly letting me stay with him while I’m here; it’s nice to stay somewhere that is not a guesthouse! Melville is also a great place to be, particularly for someone traveling mostly by foot. There are lots of good restaurants, coffee shops, and bars within walking distance. I’ve spent most of my time so far exploring the area.

On Saturday, I went to the Apartheid Museum, which charts the history of apartheid South Africa from its beginning through the struggle and liberation.

Ramp walkway leading to the Apartheid Museum. The stones are a reminder of the thousands of gold miners who spent their lives in Jo'burg. The city was populated due to the gold mines.

Having been reading the stories of the TRC, it was useful and profound to see the entire history mapped out. Through new reports, eyewitness accounts, photographs, and videos, the museum clearly charted how apartheid developed, refined, and maintained itself. The documentation of the struggles showed both the horrible effects of apartheid and how the struggle for liberation ultimately found success. I appreciated the clear layout of the museum, which made it easy to follow the history without missing a section (which creates gaps). It took a few hours to walk through the large museum, but it was definitely worth it.

So, what’s my plan for Jo’burg?

I have a list of contacts with whom I am hoping to meet while here, but I’m currently waiting for responses from them. In the meantime, I’ve been exploring Melville and meeting many of Raymond’s friends and colleagues, many of whom are Jesuits so have connections and knowledge about what I’m here for. I’m also enjoying the chance to debrief and process the past eight weeks, particularly my time in Maritzburg. Once I get home, I’ll have only ten short days before classes start. Now is actually the ideal time to process the trip and prepare for the transition back to school.

On a fun note, Raymond has been planning several dinners and asked me if I wanted to cook for a couple folks coming to dinner tonight. I jumped at the opportunity: I haven’t cooked in so long…and it’s something active to do during the day (as opposed to reading and writing). I’ve made some quiches and hopefully created a delicious Milk Tart, which is a South African specialty dessert. I found a recipe in one of the cookbooks I bought for myself.

Homemade South African Milk Tart!

A coffee shop update (for those who were curious): it’s looking like “Wish” may be the winner (at least right now). They have free wireless (no internet where I am staying, so this is somewhat necessary) plus good coffee and snacks. An added bonus is that it doubles as a bar/restaurant…so some afternoons I can relax with a glass of wine if I’m no longer in a coffee mood.

So there you have it; it’s crazy to think that I was leaving Chicago just eight weeks ago. I’m looking forward to posting some reflections on my time here and more on The Bible in Context over the next couple of weeks. Keep in touch; can’t wait to see y’all very soon!

“In Context”: Matthew 18:21-35

29 08 2010

Then Peter came and said to him, “Lord, if another member of the church sins against me, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy-seven times. “For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves. When he began the reckoning, one who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him; and, as he could not pay, his lord ordered him to be sold, together with his wife and children and all his possessions, and payment to be made. So the slave fell on his knees before him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.’ And out of pity for him, the lord of that slave released him and forgave him the debt. But that same slave, as he went out, came upon one of his fellow slaves who owed him a hundred denarii; and seizing him by the throat, he said, ‘Pay what you owe.’ Then his fellow slave fell down and pleaded with him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you.’ But he refused; then he went and threw him into prison until he would pay the debt. When his fellow slaves saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their lord all that had taken place. Then his lord summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked slave! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. Should you not have had mercy on your fellow slave, as I had mercy on you?’ And in anger his lord handed him over to be tortured until he would pay his entire debt. So my heavenly Father will also do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”

Through my work with Ujamaa (specifically with Skhumbuzo and the worker justice program) and my engagement with the academic side of Ujamaa’s work at UKZN, I cannot read this passage without noting the economic nature of the parable. The story involves economic debt, hierarchy/kyriarchy, and a system in which servants seem to consistently be unable to repay their masters. I’m curious to probe the story with questions such as: why did the servants owe their respective masters money? Why did the master decide to settle his accounts and how did he become so wealthy? Were the other servants able to repay their debts—and how many servants owed him money? What does the master stand to gain by forgiving the debts? Does this not correlate to the economic state of the world today?

Post-liberation, many churches and groups in South Africa have returned to a theology that emphasizes spiritual needs and moral concerns. The new government (who once relied on liberation hermeneutics and theologies) has publicly celebrated that churches can now stop focusing on the political and can return to their real (spiritual and moral) concerns. As I have noted before, there is still a vast disparity between the wealthiest South Africans and the poor and marginalized majority. Though the ANC came to power with the promise of economic redistribution, most of these goals have been abandoned although many South Africans have experienced little or no economic benefit. When churches try to confront these economic concerns, they are often told that they should focus on the church’s “real [moral] concerns” and leave the economy to the experts. Unfortunately, the Bible has much more to say about economic justice as both a spiritual concern and a moral imperative than it does on any other issue!

I’ve also been thinking a lot about what it means to forgive (is it really as easy to forgive actions as it is to forgive a debt?) and in the words of Antjie Krog, “the limits of forgiveness.” Krog was a radio reporter who covered the proceedings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission; her book Country of My Skull describes her experience as a reporter as she herself struggles with the meanings of truth, reconciliation, and forgiveness. The book relies on the narratives of the women and men who testified as part of the commission, both victims and perpetrators. Most of these stories are horrifying: this is the hardest book I have ever read. I quickly realized that I could only read one chapter at a time; to read too much at once is to risk becoming desensitized to the horrors described. The question that runs through my mind is “How do you forgive this?” Many do not, and I cannot blame them. Krog records the sentiment of Mrs. Kondile, whose son was brutally murdered by Dirk Coetzee, a well-known member of the apartheid police hit squad:

“It is easy for Mandela and Tutu to forgive…they lead vindicated lives. In my life, nothing, not a single thing has changed since my son was burnt by barbarians…nothing. Therefore I cannot forgive” (Krog 142).

In South Africa, these experiences are real and recent; how does Matthew’s parable of forgiveness apply to a context like this? How do you forgive a system that enforced racial segregation and created the economic disparity that still exists today? These are questions well beyond my ability to answer; they strike at questions that theologians have been grappling with for centuries. They also speak to a context in which I am still an outsider. I can listen to these stories, but I cannot share an understanding of the common experience. But as I hear these stories and learn about people’s experiences, I realize more and more that this lesson about forgiveness cannot be discussed in South Africa without a consideration of the political and economic realities of this context. Further, Matthew’s parable cannot be fully understood without considering the economic and political framework that surrounds the story.

Moving Reflections

26 08 2010

As I make the move to Jo’burg today, some shorter thoughts I wanted to share:

  • I have decided that I truly know a city when I have found a coffee shop that I love and an order that everyone at the counter expects. In Cape Town, it was a filter coffee, no room for milk at Milk, Bread, and Honey. In Maritzburg, it is the most-delicious-chocolate-croissant-ever and a bottomless filter coffee at the Bread Ahead. Jo’burg is to-be-discovered!
  • A month seems like a really long time when you are just starting. A month seems like no time at all when you are looking back on it…
  • When you can’t find a souvenir shop for postcards, the tourism office is a good place to try. (It only took me four weeks to think of that!) Nevertheless, if you were expecting mail from me, it’s about to be on the way…
  • My experience with my friends at Emaphethelweni has raised some new questions that will stick with me…possibly forever: When is Palesa going to tell Lefa she might be pregnant? And what is the deal with Lefa’s mother? When is everyone in the office going to realize that Donna is using Wayne to spy on them? When will Paul figure out that Kenneth set him up for murder? And is Paul going to lose Dineo in the process? When are Ajax and Ozzie’s sister going to become an official item? And, most importantly, what is going to happen with poor Sara’s marriage?
  • Yes, watching soap operas every night for a month can actually become (sadly) addictive
  • I’ve been reading Country of My Skull by Antjie Krog, which charts a narrative of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. (Krog was a radio reporter who covered the entirety of the TRC.) It’s an extremely moving and difficult read, but it has certainly given me a better understanding of South Africa. I’ve been particularly struck by the comments made by Desmond Tutu that Krog reports. This one brought a smile to my face yesterday:

“After the first political submission in August 1996, I interviewed Archbishop Tutu. ‘Weren’t you irritated that you had to listen to four versions of South Africa’s past?”

He spreads his four skinny fingers under my nose. “Four versions…four…exist of the life of Christ. Which one would you have liked to chuck out?” (Krog 172)

The Bible in Context: Matthew 20:1-16

24 08 2010

“For the kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. After agreeing with the laborers for the usual daily wage, he sent them into his vineyard. When he went out about nine o’clock, he saw others standing idle in the marketplace; and he said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right.’ So they went. When he went out again about noon and about three o’clock, he did the same. And about five o’clock he went out and found others standing around; and he said to them, ‘Why are you standing here idle all day?’ They said to him, ‘Because no one has hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard.’ When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his manager, ‘Call the laborers and give them their pay, beginning with the last and then going to the first.’ When those hired about five o’clock came, each of them received the usual daily wage. Now when the first came, they thought they would receive more; but each of them also received the usual daily wage. And when they received it, they grumbled against the landowner, saying, ‘These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.’ But he replied to one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong; did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage? Take what belongs to you and go; I choose to give to this last the same as I give to you. Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or are you envious because I am generous?’ So the last will be first, and the first will be last.”

“I know that when someone gets a big slice of pie, it doesn’t mean less for me. In fact, I know there isn’t even a pie, that there’s plenty to go around, enough food and love and air.

But I don’t believe it for a second.

I secretly believe there is a pie. I will go to my grave brandishing a fork.”

-Anne Lamott, Grace (Eventually)

Above is one of my favorite Anne Lamott quotations: as usual, she describes the story of my life. And it perfectly demonstrates why I have always been uncomfortable with the parable of the laborers in the vineyard. I like things to be fair: there is a pie and everyone should get an equal piece. Equal pay for equal work, my feminist instincts cry. Even though I know that there is plenty of pie to go around, I am envious of the landowner’s generosity. As fate would have it, this passage was the daily lectionary at Mass recently, which gave me cause to reflect on it in light of the work I have been doing with Contextual Bible Study.

Hearing the passage with fresh ears, my attention was drawn to when the landowner speaks to the workers hired at five o’clock: “Why are you standing here idle all day?” And they answer: “Because no one has hired us.” Recently, I went out with Skhumbuzo to a group in kwaMpumuza, a township on the outskirts of Pietermaritzburg; the members were a self-organized group of unemployed women and men trying to organize and find jobs. Many had hoped the World Cup would bring more jobs than it did; many jobs go to immigrant workers who getting paid less than a living wage (or they are outsourced entirely). Like the workers hired at the end of the day, these workers are not standing by idly because they are lazy; they are standing there because no one will hire them. Just like the workers hired in the morning, they all need a full day’s wages to survive.

In today’s society (and in Jesus’ social setting), many find themselves in poverty due to unemployment, and many women and men who are fortunate enough to find work are often not paid enough to make ends meet. We are not told why the nine-o’clock-workers were hired first (perhaps they had better access to resources allowing them to be in the front of the line)? If the landowner thought he had hired enough workers at 9:00, then why did he need to return three more times to hire more workers? These are crucial questions that must be brought to bear on the interpretation of this text. They begin to get to the root of the potential structural issues that make is difficult or impossible for some people to find work for an adequate full day’s pay. Unfortunately, structural sin makes the simple cry “equal pay for equal work impossible.” In Jesus’ vision of the kingdom of heaven, everyone is given the amount of pie that they need to survive.