The Economics of Diaspora

“Since Julius Wellhausen articulated the documentary hypothesis (1878), biblical scholarship has recognized diasporic settings as central to the formation of the Old Testament; yet, scholars and pastors rarely foreground the reality of social displacement in modern biblical interpretation. ”

Team Members/Contributors

Roger S. Nam Candler School of Theology Contact Me

About this sabbatical grant for researchers

The maturation of social scientific models provides an unprecedented opportunity to better understand the heterogenous diasporic settings of biblical texts. This project seeks to utilize diasporic theory to apply to readings of three different text clusters that represent different components of the Judean diaspora: the Āl Yāḫūdū archive, the Elephantine papyri, and the biblical books of Ezra-Nehemiah. Collectively, these three readings will engender a better appreciation of the complexities of diasporic lives, both for today as well as in Ancient Israel. A more sophisticated appreciation of the of diasporic nature of biblical texts will enhance our abilities to equip congregations to better welcome the sojourner. Such a development is critical for the future North American church to flourish. The project will have multiple overlapping layers of dissemination including the publication of a monograph titled, The Economics of Diaspora (Oxford University Press), and engagement with Korean and other diasporic church communities through pulpit supply, the Candler Foundry, and Candler Pathways.