Theology at the Border: Community Peacemaker Teams and the Refugee Crisis in Europe by Hadje Cresencio Sadje
Following its change in name from Christian Peacemaker Teams to Community Peacemaker Teams, CPT Europe places significant theologically-informed emphases on political, economic, and public policy advocacy. The identity of CPT Europe differs markedly from traditional theological and pastoral approaches, but does not preclude theological interpretations of its work.
This booklet explores how CPT Europe’s work can inform a contextually sensitive, socially relevant, and liberating form of Christian faith that is immersed in the everyday lives of people, especially refugee lives. Although it is not solely a Christian organization, the work of CPT rests on a strong theological affirmation of immersion as a concrete approach to doing theology at the borders of this world. The work of CPT Europe shows how theological reflection at the borderland should not remain academic exercise, but instead it ought to emerge in the context of common people, especially the poor, the vulnerable, and the oppressed.
In brief, this booklet argues that theology cannot be done without taking lived realities into account, and it demonstrates this conclusion by showing how CPT Europe provides a paradigm for doing theology – seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, and touching God – at the borderland.
Praise for Theology at the Border
Hadje Cresencio Sadje’s perspective on CPT-Europe’s work with refugees at Lesbos starts with the assumption that theology is rightly formed by encounters at the margins – particularly in distressed places where Christ is found among “crucified people” – rather than theology being brought to such encounters from outside. Theology at the Border is focused on seeing/hearing/touching God, and it begins where faith both confronts human realities and is shaped by them. In this book, experience contextualizes and shapes one’s perspective on God, and not the other way around. This is what the immersive work of CPT-Europe does, and although that work involves many mundane tasks, as these tasks are accomplished theology takes shape and hearts are changed.
–Reverend Dr. Tricia Gates Brown, editor of Getting in the Way: Stories from Christian Peacemaker Teams, author of Jesus Loves Women: A Memoir of Body and Spirit, and author of ReligionMatters.substack.com
Hadje Sadje presents a provocative view that God of the poor, marginalized, and displaced is involved in their everyday struggles. In a theologically engaging manner, Sadje’s Theology at the Border displays how the Christian community should be at the forefront of the fight for human dignity and social justice, especially in response to the global migration and refugee crisis. This booklet is a must-read for clergy and concerned Christian seeking to proclaim and embody God’s Good News for the broken and damaged world.
–Reverend Samuel Lee, Director of Center for Theology of Migration, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, and Founding President of Foundation Academy of Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Hadje Cresencio Sadje is a visiting research fellow at the University of Vienna, Austria, a visiting fellow at the Toronto Mennonite Theological Centre in Canada, an associate member of the SOAS Center for Palestine Studies at the University of London-UK, and a research associate at the Cambridge Centre for Christianity Worldwide. Currently, he is a Ph.D. student at the University of Hamburg Germany.