Healing the Open Wound: Imagining Christian Border Ethics with Gloria Anzaldúa

Border at NightBy Justin Ashworth, first published in The Other Journal

Border encounters occur every day in our global and globalizing cities.[1] We consume food touched by people born outside the United States; we purchase things from non-citizens, brush shoulders with them as we go to work. Some of us kiss immigrants goodbye as we head out the door for the day, while others of us are non-citizens ourselves. Our daily lives are filled with border encounters like these, that is, with economic, political, cultural, and personal interactions between citizens and foreigners.[2] But what should be the marks of these encounters? In asking this question, I am not concerned primarily with how cosmopolitan bigwigs interact with each other but rather with how the images of the border that citizens carry around in their heads influence their interactions with border crossers. Are our border images accurate, and what type of ethic do they imply? Continue reading “Healing the Open Wound: Imagining Christian Border Ethics with Gloria Anzaldúa”

Who Are Our People?

But wanting to justify himself, he asked Jesus, ‘And who is my neighbor?’
Luke 10:29

From Justin Ashworth, a candidate in the Duke Divinity School ThD program. Justin is in the process of finishing a dissertation devoted to a theological engagement with U.S. immigration policy, drawing on the Merciful Samaritan parable in Luke 10 (right: painting by Paula Modersohn-Becker, 1907), which challenges followers of Jesus to ask the vital question in immigration debates: “Who are our people?” This is the conclusion from a presentation he gave to a class last week:

…the calling of gentiles to follow Jesus draws us into a life together with people we did not choose. It requires that we deny any notion of a permanently stable identity: we follow the God of the living who is on the move in the world. There may be times for staying put, but the Christian life is fundamentally one of movement towards Jesus and therefore towards the people he is gathering around himself. This recognition requires that we cultivate a posture of openness toward the Spirit of Jesus Christ who blows where the Spirit wills. Continue reading “Who Are Our People?”