“Overcoming the Limitations of Christian Love engages the empirical research of a practical theologian and volunteer chaplain for refugees seeking asylum in the U.S. with qualitative research of faith communities in greater San Antonio that do or do not preach, teach, fund, and/or offer direct assistance for refugees, examining the philosophical barriers or inhibitors which the Christian Church needs to identify, address, and cross at the borderline between a theoretical profession of faith and ”
The project is set in context with a critique of the inhumane treatment of refugees seeking asylum in general and Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) detained in U.S. custody in particular, as the project engages an ecumenical and interfaith grounded theory qualitative research case study of Christian churches and faith communities in greater San Antonio to identify: (1) why churches/faith communities do not support assisting refugees and their rationale for that decision, including philosophical barriers or inhibitors; and (2) the steps a congregation took during the process to become “ready” to welcome refugees. The project includes research and reading on philosophical themes and the philosophy of religion in conversation with the data collected from the case study, investigating possible stumbling blocks which inhibit or limit the Church’s response of love for refugees. The findings will contribute to developing public access teaching and education tools which will help to facilitate conversations across ideological boundaries so the Christian Church moves from inertia and/or political polarization to unified care and compassion for these children. Project activities include writing one general readership book, one peer review paper/journal, and developing six teaching videos and online resources for education and advocacy to help clergy and church leaders bring their congregations to a place where they are ready to offer compassionate welcome for refugees seeking safety.