|dc.description.abstract||Through a critical use of migration theology this thesis determines pastoral outcomes for a former refugee community in Porirua, New Zealand. Resettlement after forced migration is challenging on many levels; migration theology seeks to make a practical and enduring response to these challenges. In particular migration theology has considerable potential to impact migration theory and to contribute meaningfully toward the needs of migrants and their home and host communities. The moral impetus that migration theology engenders, with its notion of the value of all human beings and its commitment to solidarity with the poor, is a powerful tool for change in churches, migrant communities and toward social justice. Migration theology is an integrated discipline: integrating thought and practice; integrating the insights of other disciplines; and integrating theological and Scriptural themes to develop a practical theology of compassionate action with a preferential option for the poor. Highlighting the important place of religion and the way in which many migrants practise their faith in their migration experience is a particular feature of migration theology. The theology of migration promotes interdependence between host and migrant communities: migration theology looks to migrants for the valuable contribution they are able to make to society in general, to the church and religious practices and to what the migration experience can teach us about the bible, helping to shape a theology of migration that strengthens the growth of true humanity for all people.
This thesis is presented in three chapters. Chapter one gives a survey and critique of migration theology in general and of the migration theology of Daniel G. Groody in particular. Chapters two and three follow a process of theological enquiry put forward by Jorge E. Castillo Guerra. Chapter two examines two aspects of context: first, the subjective context of the Kachin Christian Church in Porirua; second, the general context (that is, that which relates broadly to the Kachin people of Northern Burma) is considered, giving thought to the geopolitical situation in Burma and to factors relating to the forced migration of Kachin people. Chapter three is broken into two sections: first, biblical themes and theological ideas are outlined that may contribute to the Kachin Church; and second, an examination of the pastoral outcomes that emerge through this theological enquiry.
This thesis concludes that migration theology has an important role to play in migrant communities. Pastoral outcomes must not be limited to the care and nurture of these communities, but must foster a ‘double belonging’ that encourages migrants to have a leadership influence in both home and host society. These outcomes can serve migrant communities at their points of need offering pastoral solutions and fostering integrative practices that contribute to justice and the humanisation of the host society; as these outcomes submit to the biblical text they equip Christian communities with a faithful and practical spirituality. These themes, discussed throughout this thesis, demonstrate that migration theology has a unique and vital role to play in the issue of migration.||