Refuge Reimagined: Biblical Kinship in Global Politics, By Mark R. Glanville and Luke Glanville
Refuge Reimagined
  • Length: 272 pages
  • Dimensions: 6 × 9 in
  • Published: February 16, 2021
  • Imprint: IVP Academic
  • Item Code: 5381
  • ISBN: 9780830853816

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The global crisis of forced displacement is growing every year. At the same time, Western Christians' sympathy toward refugees is increasingly overshadowed by concerns about personal and national security, economics, and culture. We urgently need a perspective that understands both Scripture and current political realities and that can be applied at the levels of the church, the nation, and the globe.

In Refuge Reimagined, Mark R. Glanville and Luke Glanville offer a new approach to compassion for displaced people: a biblical ethic of kinship. God's people, they argue, are consistently called to extend kinship—a mutual responsibility and solidarity—to those who are marginalized and without a home. Drawing on their respective expertise in Old Testament studies and international relations, the two brothers engage a range of disciplines to demonstrate how this ethic is consistently conveyed throughout the Bible and can be practically embodied today.

Glanville and Glanville apply the kinship ethic to issues such as the current mission of the church, national identity and sovereignty, and possibilities for a cooperative global response to the refugee crisis. Challenging the fear-based ethic that often motivates Christian approaches, they envision a more generous, creative, and hopeful way forward. Refuge Reimagined will equip students, activists, and anyone interested in refugee issues to understand the biblical model for communities and how it can transform our world.

"The lens of kinship with refugees that Mark and Luke Glanville offer has the potential to be revolutionary. This book will change and deepen the conversation around a biblical ethic for welcoming refugees, and I highly recommend it."

Jarrod McKenna, host of the InVerse Podcast and co-initiator of the #LoveMakesAWay movement

"This volume offers a unique synthesis of biblical theology, political science, and missional practice. In the face of the 'wicked problems' of forced migration, the maintenance of academic boundaries is manifestly unhelpful, but rarely have we seen such a detailed integration of all the key issues. The Glanville brothers offer us an inspiring model of both intellectual and practical engagement, and their book will become essential reading for all who are concerned with the plight of refugees and asylum seekers in an age of displacement."

Mark G. Brett, Whitley College, author of Political Trauma and Healing: Biblical Ethics for a Postcolonial World

"What would it mean if, rather than just providing support and protection for people experiencing displacement, we actually lived life with them? In this important book, Mark and Luke Glanville provide an answer to this question through the biblical concept of kinship. Building on existing work in political theory, theology on hospitality, and our responses to people on the move, Glanville and Glanville suggest that the Scriptures call us to enfold displaced people as kindred, in relationships where both the host and the hosted bless and receive blessing. This framework has the potential to radically disrupt existing approaches to refugees and protection in both scholarship and practice, as they demonstrate through their engagement with key biblical texts and day-to-day institutions and processes. It's a radical disruption that is desperately needed in these dark and challenging times for the politics of migration and politics in general."

Erin Wilson, associate professor of politics and religion at the University of Groningen

"Refuge Reimagined provokes urgent conversation on the importance of responding to and welcoming refugees like family. Glanville and Glanville summon Christians to welcome those forcibly displaced through the face-to-face recognition that they are, in fact, our global brothers and sisters and must be welcomed as such. Refuge Reimagined powerfully reminds us that when we embrace the opportunity to welcome the most vulnerable and uphold their dignity, we discover the fullness of our being in God. The book is both a powerhouse of sound biblical exegesis and a perceptive modern-day analysis that compassionately and rightly calls us to listen to God and learn from our biblical ancestors and contemporary practitioners. It inspires reflection on our base impulses that too easily lead to inaction or polarized entrenchment, positions our imaginations and communities for welcome, and prompts action on the profound truth that in the end, refugees are, indeed, the you and me of another place and family."

Loren Balisky, cofounder of the Kinbrace Community Society

"Informed and informative, Refuge Reimagined combines careful biblical and sociopolitical scholarship to call Christians and the church to respond compassionately to the mounting refugee crisis. Using the foundational concept of kinship—familial, communal, national, and global—the authors seek to cultivate an ethic of virtuous welcome that could be a catalyst for the more humane treatment of foreigners in the body politic. Insightful, pastoral, and practical, this volume is an exemplary resource."

M. Daniel Carroll R. (Rodas), Scripture Press Ministries Professor of Biblical Studies and Pedagogy, Wheaton College and Graduate School

"It is rare to find a single book that is as rich in biblical scholarship as it is well informed on one of the most urgent global issues of our generation, and rarer still to read one that is so effective in bringing the two into such constructive, creative, and hope-filled interaction. The deployment of the Glanville brothers' respective expertise in biblical and international studies has produced this massively informative challenge, both to Christian churches and to any political leaders prepared to give them a hearing. The combination of meticulously documented research (contemporary and historical, and often painfully eye opening), with personal testimony from the lived experience of the Kinbrace Community in Vancouver, gives voice to an authenticity and truth that must challenge our consciences and our actions."

Christopher J. H. Wright, Langham Partnership, author of The Mission of God


Foreword by Matthew Soerens

1. Introduction: Kinship with Refugees

Part One: The Bible
2. Kinship with the Stranger
3. Refuge Under Yahweh's Wings
4. Jesus' Kinship

Part Two: The Church
5. Creative Kinship in the Church

Part Three: The Nation
6. Neighbor-Loving Nations
7. Stranger-Loving Sovereigns
8. Relinquishing Fear, Nurturing Compassion, Institutionalizing Love

Part Four: The World
9. Hope for Global Kinship
10. Global Kinship with Refugees

11. Kinship Creativity

Discussion Questions
Further Reading
Author Index
Subject Index
Scripture Index


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Mark R. Glanville

Mark R. Glanville is associate professor of pastoral theology at Regent College, Vancouver, and an Old Testament scholar. He is the author of Adopting the Stranger as Kindred in Deuteronomy and Freed to Be God's Family: The Book of Exodus and has written articles for a variety of publications. Glanville previously ministered in a missional urban communities in Canada and Australia, and was a professor of congregational theology at the Missional Training Center in Phoenix.

Luke Glanville

Luke Glanville (PhD, University of Queensland) is associate professor in the department of international relations at Australian National University. He is the author of Sovereignty and the Responsibility to Protect: A New History, which won the Australian Political Science Association Crisp Prize in 2016 and the CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title Award in 2014.