The Surveillance of the Victim

David B. Couturier, "The Surveillance of the Victim: Visibility, Privacy and the Crisis of Bodies in Franciscan Thought", Cross Currents 70 (2020), 1-14.

Vast amounts of data is now being collected about us by governments and corporations. This rapid acceleration and assemblage of personal data has up until now outpaced theological evaluation. In this article, we will outline the scope of the surveillance situation we face and are likely to confront in the near future. We will then speak about the limits of our present implied “theology of privacy” as an adequate remediation to the social justice issues now arising. Then, we will offer Francis of Assisi’s “embrace of the leper” as a potential contribution to the dialogue just beginning on a “theology of surveillance.” We focus on the surveillance of the victim because it is the victim of abuse that is most at risk of being silenced, ignored, diminished and made ‘invisible’ as non-persons even by churches committed to the providential surveillance of a liberating God (Couturier 2019).

Read the article here.