Migrant God, Migrating People

“Will acknowledgement of our foundational migratory identity as Christians and the perception and embrace of a migrating God positively affect how we encounter and interact with contemporary migrants? ”

Team Members/Contributors

Ericka Dunbar Baylor University Contact Me

About this first book grant for scholars of color

Christians in the US are religiously, ethically, and politically polarized on the topic of migration, one of the most pressing social issues of our time. This polarization was exacerbated by inflammatory rhetoric deployed by a former U.S. presidential candidate during the 2016 election cycle that described vulnerable migrants as “predators,” “aliens,” “criminals,” “killers,” and “animals,” persons who were invading and “poisoning the blood of our country.” North American churches are uniquely positioned to challenge and condemn these, and other overt expressions of xenophobic ideologies and racism, because their religious and institutional identities are rooted in centuries-long stories about continuously migrating communities.

Migrant God, Migrating People addresses the intersectional oppression that ancient and contemporary migrants experience and consequences of those cruelties, offering a theological framework for Christian hosting and holistic hospitality that resists producing physical, psychological, and spiritual injuries to migrants. In this book, Dunbar foregrounds migration as foundational to Christian identity, belonging, and community building. Intersectionality as an analytical tool and attention to polyvocality provide new ways of exploring relationships of power, agency, and resistance among migrants to structures of domination and exploitation. Major implications of this work are that it (a) illuminates that both migration and intersectionality are intricately linked to social justice and (b) has the potential to facilitate dialogue and active listening, cultivate empathy and collaboration, and inspire advocacy and activism leading to reforms that ensure societal inclusion and rights for all. Migrant God, Migrating People is an interdisciplinary project that brings together biblical studies, migration studies, trauma studies, theological studies, environmental studies, and more.