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Identity and the Stranger: A Christological Critique of Refugee Politics
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Theology, Department of Theology.
2011 (English)In: Political Theology, ISSN 1462-317X, Vol. 12, no 6, 813-829 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]


The purpose of this article is to suggest an interpretation of Christology

that would be an effective tool for theological critique of current refugee

politics in Europe. The author claims that the European view on the

stranger is grounded in a particular philosophy of individualistic identity

which can be contrasted to the traditional understanding of identity as

relational. This relational understanding is exemplified by Jewish theology

and the philosophy of Hermann Cohen and Emmanuel Levinas. It suggests

that identity is not a condition of moral responsibility but a derivative

of it. Cohen’s interpretation of the meaning of monotheism is one of the

most interesting elaborations on this idea. The author of the article claims

that the traditional understanding of Christology can be revaluated by the

notion of a radical uncertainty of the identity of Christ. This uncertainty is

not an uncertainty about Christ’s divine nature. The radical christological

uncertainty is about the impossibility of proving the identity of God, an

identity which calls for an act of responsibility and for a capacity to recognize

the very God in a stranger seeking protection and lacking evidence

for his identity.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sheffield: Equinox Publishing, 2011. Vol. 12, no 6, 813-829 p.
Keyword [en]
Christology, Hermann Cohen, identity, refugee politics, stranger
National Category
Philosophy, Ethics and Religion
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-163961OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-163961DiVA: diva2:465841
Available from: 2011-12-15 Created: 2011-12-15 Last updated: 2013-03-14Bibliographically approved

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