27 Feb Monday Seminar: Interreligion in Migration
On Mondays throughout Hilary Term, the Oxford Centre for Christianity and Culture is hosting a series of interdisciplinary conversations which aim to shed new light on the unfolding migration context: ‘In-Migration: Cultural and Theological Dialogues on the 21st Century Movements of Peoples’.
In each session, a speaker or speakers will make a key input on an aspect of migration, to which scholars associated with the Centre will offer a response informed by Christian theological reflection and/or practice, followed by Q&A. Details of the next seminar are as follows:
Interreligion in Migration
Speaker: Joshua Ralsto*
Respondents: Paul Fiddes and Sean-Oliver Dee
Monday 27th February, 1-2pm
Regent’s Park College
Pusey Street, Oxford, OX1 2LB
* Joshua Ralston is Lecturer in Muslim-Christian Relations at the School of Divinity, University of Edinburgh and founder and director of the newly launched Global Network for Christian-Muslim Studies. In addition to numerous essays and book chapters on migration and political theology, he co-edited with Susanna Snyder and Agnes Brazal, Church in an Age of Global Migration: A Moving Body, and his monograph, Law and the Rule of God: A Christian-Muslim Exchange, is forthcoming later this year.
Drawing on migration studies and critical theory, this paper argues that the ambivalent responses of European legal and political mechanisms to the influx of migrants in 2015 should be located within a longer history of Christian-Muslim relations in Western Europe and North America. Specifically, I argue that European political theory, be it laïcité, church-state separation, or Christian establishment, has been partly constructed over and against a perceived illiberal Muslim body politic. Given this history, it is unsurprising that strands of Christian political theology, appeals to the heritage of a Christian-Secular West, and claims about an intractable rivalry between Christianity and Islam have played a central in the political rhetoric of politicians and political parities seeking to halt Muslim migrants and curtail the legal and moral responsibilities to refugees and asylum seekers. To challenge this deployment of Christian theology, my paper will consider how the current refugee crisis might serve as an inter-religious kairos moment that demands a reframing of Christian-Muslim relations beyond the dominant motifs of either love of neighbor or inherent rivalry. The paper sketches a comparative political theology of migration marked by 1) a refusal of Christendom vs dar al-Islam, 2) a provincializing of Europe, and 3) a non-territorial understanding of Christian ‘values.’
For the full list of seminars, click HERE.