This is my latest journal article for Feminist Theology “Foreign Women: Ezra, Intermarriage and Asian American Women’s Identity”. It is published in Feminist Theology 2014, Vol. 22(3): 241-252.
One’s ‘Asianness’ signifies to the white dominant group, that s/he is a foreigner and consequently a second-class citizen. Asian American women have been perceived to be the perpetual foreigner. The understanding of the foreigner within the book of Ezra brings to light how foreign women were treated, excluded and forced to move away. As more immigrants come into North America, we need to learn ways to welcome them fully and not as second- class citizens or the Other.
Foreign women, immigrant, Ezra, intermarriage, Other, perpetual foreigner
The Perpetual Foreigner
If one looks ‘Asian’, it does not matter how many years or generations one has lived in the United States, that person is perceived to be a foreigner. It is not because Asians have different foods, different cultural practices, various religious heritages or because they can speak multiple languages. Segments of the dominant white culture, such as those of Irish, Italian, Russian, or Swedish ancestry, also possess these same characteristics in different ways. Rather, it is because Asians ‘look’ different from members of what is considered to be the white dominant culture. Underlying this is racism and prejudice aimed towards Asian Americans.
‘Asian Americans have been depicted as “perpetual foreigners,” “unassimilable” and other stereotypes that reveal historic and persistent racism experienced by this racial/ethnic group.”
**for the rest of the article, please click here.
[read also: Military Drills & Jesus and the Cross]
Grace Ji-Sun Kim is Visiting Researcher at Georgetown University. She is the author of 6 books, Theological Reflections on “Gangnam Style” co-written with Joseph Cheah, Reimagining with Christian Doctrines co-edited with Jenny Daggers (Palgrave), Contemplations from the Heart (Wipf & Stock), Colonialism, Han and the Transformative Spirit (Palgrave Pivot), The Holy Spirit, Chi, and the Other: A Model of Global and Intercultural Pneumatology (Palgrave Macmillan) and The Grace of Sophia: A Korean North American Women’s Christology (Pilgrim Press). She is a co-editor with Dr. Joseph Cheah for the Palgrave Macmillan Book Series, “Asian Christianity in Diaspora”.