Justin Ashworth is a 2018-2019 CREV Faculty Fellow

Posted: August 31, 2018

Justin Ashworth (Department of Theology) 

Belonging Without Borders: Immigration Ethics and the Boundaries of Catholicity

In his 2016 U.S. presidential campaign, candidate Donald Trump promised to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. After his inauguration, President Trump issued a travel ban on several Muslim-majority countries. More recently his administration pursued a zero-tolerance policy that resulted in the separation of roughly 3,000 asylum-seeking families who attempted to cross the U.S.-Mexico border.

Many have denounced the inhumanity or impracticality of these policies, but broader questions about borders remain. Do they ensure national security, strengthen national economies, or nurture a sense of national identity, as we are sometimes told? How should Christians evaluate borders in light of God’s purposes in the world? How should they act in relation to borders?

Dr. Ashworth is currently writing his first book, called Belonging without Borders: The Ethics of Borders and the Mission of the Church. He argues that God’s future for the world, which has broken into the present in Jesus Christ, does not include borders. By the power of the Spirit, God is drawing together a migrant people of Jews and gentiles into God’s mission in the world, proclaiming God’s deeds and giving the world an example of life that is consistent with God’s purposes. This is the first book to argue that borders are inconsistent with God’s purposes and to offer practices churches can perform while they await the final fulfillment of God’s purposes.