Listening to the voices: refugees as co-authors of practical theology

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftKonferenceartikelForskningfagfællebedømt

Based on participant observation and interviews with Middle-Eastern asylum seekers, we describe the complexity of motives involved in conversions from Islam to Christianity. As a primary case study, we have selected a young Iranian woman because she manages to describe the liminal situation of living ‘underground’ which tends to leave most asylum seekers speechless. Through a revision of Bourdieu’s theory of social capital, we illustrate how conversion can become a means of existential survival in a situation of social marginalisation and psychological liminality. We regard the Iranian woman as a co-interpreter of practical theology because in her testimony we hear echoes of Pauline participation theology and the radical sacramental realism found in Augustine’s interpretation of the Eucharist. Finally, we demonstrate how the presence of refugees in the congregation has nudged the ethnically Danish ‘hosts’ to move away from a hierarchy of generosity to a community based on reciprocity and mutual vulnerability.
TidsskriftPractical Theology
Udgave nummer1
Sider (fra-til)29-41
Antal sider12
StatusUdgivet - 2 jan. 2018


  • Det Teologiske Fakultet - Ecclesiology , conversion, refugees, Eucharist, social capital, liminality

ID: 192047971