States of Exile offers a political theology of exile which envisions diaspora and return as both integral dimensions of the church's witness for the shalom of the city. Unlike conventional views, Alain Epp Weaver insists that diaspora and return need not stand in irreducible opposition. He explores these understandings in critical conversations with John Howard Yoder, Edward Said, Karl Barth, and Daniel Boyarin. His views also represent reflection on over a decade of living and working among Palestinian refugees.
Epp Weaver envisions the Christian church as a community in exile which must learn to be theologically "not in charge." The church in exile, he argues, must cultivate a receptiveness to the inbreaking of God's Spirit from beyond its walls.
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