Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
This dissertation gives a number of answers to the following two research questions: given the storied nature of faith and displacement, what does literary studies have to offer church-based refugee activists in religious diasporas? And what might church-based activists, who are involved in daily struggles to interpret cultural, ethnic, and religious stories for the sake of cultural transformation, have to offer literary studies of displacement? The analysis of this thesis uses literary and cultural theory (diaspora studies, postcolonial theorizations of the exotic, discursive analysis, formalist textual examination, and more) to understand interethnic church-based refugee activism taking place within a specific religious diaspora, the Christian Reformed Church in Canada. The formation of diasporas and faith groups through shared allegiances to communal stories makes literary studies a fitting vantage point from which to examine a religious diaspora. Because religious diasporas have explicitly storied identities, their discourses are open to the potential of stories to effect communal change. Refugee novels and other cultural texts that are valued in diaspora and refugee studies can have a part in shaping the storied identity out of which church-based refugee activism is done, helping religious diasporas to more deeply understand the experiences specific to refugee-ed people and to more closely align their activism with the stated desires of refugee-ed people.
Goheen Glanville, Erin E., "Storied Displacement, Storied Faith: Engaging Church-Based Activism in Canada with Refugee Fiction and Diaspora Studies" (2012). Open Access Dissertations and Theses. Paper 7225.
McMaster University Library