Beauty for ashes and the oil of gladness: the border-crossing God, Asylum Seekers, and the Church’s exile into hope
Khovacs, I. and Khovacs, J. 2019. Beauty for ashes and the oil of gladness: the border-crossing God, Asylum Seekers, and the Church’s exile into hope. in: Religious Responses to Refugees and Asylum Seekers Jessica Kingsley.
|Authors||Khovacs, I. and Khovacs, J.|
This exercise in practical theology, a ‘theology from below’, explores the ministerial implication in our notion that the story of Jesus denotes the Son of God’s ‘migratory’ journey among creaturely humanity. Concretely, this means that we aim to locate the welcoming ethos in ministry with refugees and asylum seekers in the biblical theme of God’s faithful companionship with those in displacement and exile.
We begin by overlaying representative experiences of asylum seekers like Amid against the Old Testament ethic which presupposes the ‘resident alien’ to be morally included in God’s promise to redeem all of humanity as God’s own. The experiences we relate are those of migrants in London taking part in the Welcome Boxes project at St Peter’s Church Eaton Square. We find it striking that the stories they tell relate nearly without exception a sense that God is with the refugee and asylum seeker. Taking this ‘implicit’ theology as our starting point will enable our exploration of biblical imagery of migration, exile, and the faithfulness of the border-crossing God. This then leads us to a concluding reflection on our sense that the church’s pastoral and missional identity is faced with political implications cascading from its welcome of refugee claimants and asylum seekers living in our midst.
|Book title||Religious Responses to Refugees and Asylum Seekers|
|Output status||In press|
|Publication process dates|
|Deposited||17 May 2019|
|Accepted||20 Feb 2019|
|Journal||Religious Response to Refugees and Asylum Seekers|
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