Los Angeles is a global crossroads of migrating communities that presents a case study of migration, transnationalism, and interfaith engagement with significant implications for thinking and practice in other global hubs. This book weaves together contributions from internationally-recognized scholars who were brought together for the 2020 Missiology Lectures at Fuller Theological Seminary. They examine historical waves of migration — European Protestant, Asian, Latino/a, and Muslim — into Southern California and use sociological, missiological, and theological methods to understand the experience of migration and its effects, both on those who move and those who are already there. The result shows how migrants are inspired and sustained by faith and spiritual resources; how migration challenges faith communities about their identity and attitudes to others; how faith communities in turn impact the migration landscape through immigrant integration and public advocacy, and how migration forges new transnational and global ways of being in community and innovative religious movements. The contributors put forward a mission theology of migration and suggest mission practices in response to the suffering caused by forced migration and the injustices of immigration systems.
Kirsteen Kim is Paul E. Pierson Professor of World Christianity and serves as associate dean for the Center for Missiological Research at Fuller Theological Seminary.
Alexia Salvatierra is Academic Dean, Centro Latino, and assistant professor of integral mission and global transformation at Fuller Theological Seminary.
1.Los Angeles as an Intersection: Questions of Mobility, Power, and Race in Southern California
2.City of Dreams: Los Angeles as a Cradle for Religious Activism, Innovation, and Diversity
3.Errands in the Wilderness: Protestant Migrations and the (Re)Evangelization of Southern California in the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries
4.Mexican Americans and the Southern Errand
Robert Chao Romero
5.Missiological Reflections on the “In-Betweenness” of Latino Protestantism
Juan F. Martínez
6.Making their Mark: Asian Americans and the Californian “Christian” Landscape
Rebecca Y. Kim
7.Faith Resources: Muslim Migration to Los Angeles
8.Borders: Citizenship in California
9.Catholicity: Migration, Religion, and World Christianity
10.Theological Approaches to Migration: Their Impact on Missional Thinking and Action
Leopoldo A. Sánchez M.
11.For Such a Time as This: Ministering with and Advocating for Migrants
Written by scholars of great authority in the four fields of migration, the Christian faith, transnationalism, and missions, these essays offer profound insights into an issue that is of immediate concern to all Americans. The book should be required reading for those who work on migration, especially students preparing for ministry to migrants in the U.S.
This excellent volume addresses the interreligious and multicultural diversity of migration—“pushed” and “pulled”—through Southern California. I highly recommend it for religious leaders and academics.
Migration is a global reality that reverberates locally. These phenomena require historical, sociological, and cultural research. They also impact Christian theology and mission: How is God present in these movements? What does God demand of the church? How might decentering conversations reorient perspectives and give agency to migrants? This volume focuses on a specific geography, southern California, to probe these profound matters. Publications like this can make us better informed and committed people of faith.
From the voices of migrants to missiology, the insightful chapters of this book bring transnational contexts of faith to bear on constructive theology for missional action. Southern California in a culturally divided USA is the location of enquiry. Latinos, East Asians, White Protestants, and Muslims are the communities whose transcultural experiences illumine the interconnections between migration and faith. Kim’s excellent introduction explains the long-standing importance of migration as a theological enquiry. Each author brings a new perspective which culminates in thoughtful missiological reflections on concern for the stranger, recognition of Jesus Christ in the marginalized, and resistance to racialize the other. This is a timely book. The open embrace it articulates is crucial as Christianity is co-opted in the USA and elsewhere to support divisive, violent forms of nationalism.
In the present era of massive forced displacements and resurgent (neo)nationalisms, it is crucially important to appreciate the complexities of global migration and its equally complex impact on American society. Considering the notable role of Evangelical communities in American culture, spirituality, and politics, this volume provides a superb tool for understanding contemporary Evangelical missiological perspectives on migration and immigrant integration. It does not shy away from internal divisions and theo-ethical challenges within Evangelicalism in rich dialogue with other Christian voices as well as interfaith engagement. Highly recommended for scholars, pastors, church members and students alike!
A wide array of voices covered in this volume using diverse disciplinary lenses, themes, and perspectives, have drawn out many profound missiological insights in the contexts of migration, transnationalism, and diaspora communities, and invites all readers to engage in a similar exercise for all of our global gateway cities around the world. A welcome addition to the growing literature on Christian mission and migration and highly recommended.
Deep and broad, this fascinating contribution from historians, social scientists, and theologians brings fresh insight to the complex realms of, and within, Los Angeles faith practices. Here we learn lesser-known arrival stories of migrant religions, as well as how those religions grew and deepened, contributing so much to this region’s remarkable diversity. Acknowledging this richness by way of works such as this is part of our shared obligation to celebrate Los Angeles as the city of immigrants and dreamers it has so long been.