Borders and migration in practical theology. The example of post-World War II German refugees and the inter-generational transfer of their experiences

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Abstract

In present-day Europe, people are crossing borders in need of refuge. This is just one example of the changing spaces for religion, church, and pastoral care in late modernity. However, there has been migration within Europe in recent history. This article exemplifies the practical-theological issue of borders and migration through a historical case study: post-World War II migrants in Germany. The case study shows the long-term effects of migration. The border-experiences of expelled people after the Second World War have consequences right up to the present. Memories continue to have an impact via an inter-generational transfer of typical behaviour and attitudes. In conclusion, borders themselves turn out to be an important locus theologicus for practical theology, which is underpinned in dialogue with Paul Tillich.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-152
Number of pages12
JournalPractical Theology
Volume11
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Keywords

  • German history
  • Migration
  • Paul Tillich
  • intergenerationality
  • practical theology

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