“Treated as Your Native Born”: Recovering A Theology of Belonging

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Aaron Tyler

Abstract

Human understanding of belonging is dynamic, vulnerable to one’s situational context in place and time.  Yet, underneath and throughout the poetry, parables, and promises of Jewish and Christian scripture is an immutable and timeless affirmation of the sanctity of the human being and human life, an affirmation that is often submerged below the political constraints made on social relationships. This article offers a glimpse into that permeating affirmation.  It endeavors to demonstrate through a brief consideration of key scriptural texts how these Abrahamic traditions call adherents to go beyond a confined theology of welcome or hospitality to embrace a more radical, inclusive theology of belonging: a political theology that makes way for regarding the stranger as citizen, or, more perfectly, as a full and equal participant in community.

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