Christian Responses to Refugees in Theory and Practice

What effect does Christianity have on behaviour towards refugees? How does Christian faith motivate political and practical action? What is an authentically theological approach to asylum & immigration, informed by the Bible and Christian tradition? Barnabas’ research addresses these questions in two mutually complementary ways:
1. It begins a dialogue between philosophical theology and forced migration studies. This means, first, applying theological insights to the contested field of refugee ethics; and secondly, showing what a ‘refugee hermeneutic’ can teach theology in return. Refugees are everywhere in the Bible and the Christian tradition, a rich resource to inform our understanding and guide our action.
2. It aims to discover and evaluate what Christians have done & are doing in response to refugees.  All kinds of responses are taken into account – positive/negative, open/closed, opposed/welcoming – provided they have a Christian justification. This means also listening to refugees themselves, letting our preconceptions be transformed by dialogue and accompaniment, rather than treating them as an object of study.
Impact and outreach are crucial for this kind of project, to raise awareness and effect change.  As well as academic outputs, it will produce a blog series and a short book, aimed at a popular audience, introducing the ethics of refugees from a Christian perspective.
This project is pursued in partnership with Refugee Support Network, a UK charity which helps refugee and asylum-seeking children and young people build more hopeful futures through education.