On Monday, March 17, 2014, theologian Justin Ashworth of Duke University will be visiting Ashland and giving a public lecture, "The Location of Peoplehood: A Theological Contribution to Immigration Debates" at 7 p.m. in the Ridenour Room, Dauch College of Business and Economics.
Ashland Religion News sent some questions to Justin asking him more about his work on theology and immigration.
Your work is in theology and immigration. What do these have to do with each other?
Theology and immigration are connected in a number of ways. At the most basic level, most migrants from Latin America (my primary focus) have some religious convictions, most often Christian; theologians ought to care about these convictions and their influence on migrants and those with whom they have contact. Moreover, many theologians understand their task as the attempt to speak coherently (or “logically,” from logos in Greek) about God (theos in Greek) and all things in relation to God. Theologians should not neglect this important aspect of human and Christian life. From another perspective, some argue that theologians should focus especially on how to understand individual and social wounds in relation to God. Immigration debates in America are so lively, I think, in part because so many wounds (and the possibility of further wounds) are exposed: questions of race, gender and class, obedience to the law, the deaths of migrants attempting to cross the border, cultural identity, national security and a number of others. Theologians do well to ask what type of healing God is bringing to these wounds and how churches and others of good will can respond to, and be part of, that healing.