Sarosh Koshy holds a PhD in Christian theology from Drew University, USA, and is the author of Beyond Missio Dei: Contesting Mission, Rethinking Witness (Palgrave Macmillan, 2022). He is a researcher with decades-long work experience with social action groups, faith organizations, and social movements, both in India and the US, and is currently based in New York, USA.
Sarosh Koshy, “Allyhood: Liberatory Comradeship or Cheap Grace?”
In the liberatory struggles waged by those facing various forms of exclusions, exploitations, and injustices, “allyhood” or “allyship” have become a standard mode of participation for those who consider themselves to be beyond the purview of such discriminations and atrocities. Allyhood has in effect become a synonym or a natural/unproblematized replacement for both the conceptions and expressions of comradeship and radical solidarity that the movements inspired by the different strands of liberation theologies has strived to beget and enshrine within individual Christians, their intentional collectives, and the Christian communions as a whole.
The notion of allyhood could be seen as arising from an understanding of an independent existence of the allies from those unfortunate sufferers to whom the allies choose to extend their help. This mode of allyhood could be observed in all of those struggles around the burdens and sins listed in the “eDare 2022 Call for Proposals.” The effort in this paper is to interrogate this notion of allyhood and to surface its underpinnings and dispositions, and to mark its congruence and/or differences with the costly discipleship that had been sought and insisted upon by the liberation theology continuum. A reading of classic texts of liberation theologies alongside its original interlocutors and contemporary theory could provide new insights on the notion and practice of allyhood.