This installment of the Faith In the Valley Justice Interview Series is a conversation about political violence in California's Central Valley. Participants think through political violence as not reducible to white-nationalist protest violence, but rather political violence as constitutive to the structural reality of America itself.
In this conversation, Dr. Roberto Mata draws upon his work from the Book of Revelation to provide Christian pastors with hermeneutical tools to challenge the dominant power of the United States.
Furthermore, Dr. Mata details what the COVID-19 moment has revealed about our society and what the “new normal” needs to be in the Central Valley.
Drawing upon his scholarship and pastoral experience, Dr. Mata invites listeners into deep reflection upon the interconnection between what we believe from a faith standpoint and the type of world we create as connected to those beliefs.
Roberto Mata is pastor of Iglesia Monte de Sion (International Pentecostal Holiness Church) in Lamont, California, the community where grew up. As a young migrant, Pastor Mata worked in the fields of California for several years. Sensing the call to ministry, Pastor Mata left the fields to enroll at Bethany University of the Assemblies of God (Scotts Valley). He continued his work in biblical studies and received an M.Div. and Th.D. in New Testament/Early Christianity from
Harvard Divinity School.
He is currently an assistant professor of Contextual Biblical Studies at Santa Clara
University. Dr. Mata’s research focuses on migration in biblical literature, as well as its intersection with colonialism, race/ethnicity, and exile/diaspora. He recently received the Louisville Institute First Book Grant for Ethnic Minority Scholars, which has allowed Dr. Mata to take a one-year sabbatical to work on his book, Coming out of Babylon: The Migration of God’s People in the Book of Revelation.