What does it mean to live in diaspora? Survey of historical and contemporary movements of peoples away from native environments and the complex issues of identity and experience related to uprooting and re-establishing. Examines specific case studies, theory and practice, drawing from psychology, sociology, history, arts, cultural studies and other humanities
People from many countries are migrating for economic, religious, conflict and political reasons. According to The Immigration Alliance, there are more than 22 million foreign-born, non-citizens in the United States. Students seeking to engage displaced people need to know history and what is happening in lives of such people globally. Students learn to understand disapora issues related to rootlessness and initial and long-term needs as well as cultural conflicts that arise in new settings.
Diaspora peoples are ever-increasing in number and finding ways of coping. The student must be equipped to understand the situations, to have empathy as well as practical plans and applications.
Jesus calls us to welcome the stranger and alien among us. Matt. 25:34-36 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’ 1 Tim. 5:10
Being incarnational means relating well to the people we seek to serve. The missio deisets the stage for living amid foreign-born. As we look generally at diaspora studies, we will also explore specifical applications that lead us individually to an integrative approach toward community, heart and life transformation.
This course will explore different contexts for migration. For example, internally diaspora communities have fewer challenges but different ones than those displaced into a vastly different culture. Cultural context is an important feature of diaspora work.
Diaspora studies is inherently intercultural, as it is about people who move to a different region and culture. The scattering is always intercultural.
This course will deal with practical work and ways to help people in diaspora. We will look at what others are doing and how to assess and work within different settings.
Students will be challenged to create a concrete plan for a setting of their choice and get some experience and interview those who have experience.