My review of the book Just Immigration: American Policy in Christian Perspective by Mark R. Amstutz has appeared online on Reading Religion. Here is an excerpt:
I think that most readers, irrespective of their specific viewpoints, will appreciate Amstutz’s call for churches to prioritize their role as moral teachers. Some of the deadlock that hinders immigration reform results from public contentment with superficial appeals to justice, insufficient engagement with different ideas of justice, and their varying prioritization by different individuals and communities in our society. Readers of Amstutz’s book who take his challenge seriously may be among the first to turn their critical gaze onto his points and to see weak points in them. But I suspect that if large numbers of Christians do precisely that, Amstutz himself would be pleased, precisely because his aim in this book is not to advocate for specific policies, but to advocate for improved moral reasoning and substantive engagement on the part of individual Christians, churches, and denominations.
Click through to read the rest of my review. I have been doing a lot more reading on the subject of immigration as a result of teaching my year-long course on “Religion, Refugees, and Migration.” It seemed appropriate to not merely read for myself, but to also seek opportunities to write reviews of the books I hoped to read, with a view to clarifying my own thinking as well as sharing my thoughts, and those of the books’ authors, with others.
The Reading Religion website, for those who may not be familiar with it, is a project of the American Academy of Religion, and it is full of both book reviews, and opportunities for grad students and professors to write reviews for them. And so don’t just read my review – there is much more on the site that deserves to be explored!See also my review of The Bible in Music in Review of Biblical Literature, if you are an SBL member.