Original Research

Church, narrative, community and identity in times of migration

John S. Klaasen
In die Skriflig/In Luce Verbi | Vol 54, No 1 | a2662 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ids.v54i1.2662 | © 2020 John S. Klaasen | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 24 July 2020 | Published: 25 November 2020

About the author(s)

John S. Klaasen, Department of Religion and Theology, Arts and Humanities Faculty, University of the Western Cape, Bellville, South Africa


Migration is perceived by many communities as a threat to national unity, social cohesion, nationality or common identity. This article is an attempt to address the following question: How does or should the church as a narrative community respond to migrants? Within the South African context, xenophobic attacks and protests directed to migrant workers are two of the visible phenomena which seem to suggest that migrants are an important social phenomenon for peaceful co-existence. I will investigate the church as a narrative community and its role towards migrants. The identity of the church is situated within a narrative and the care towards migrants is influenced by this narrated community.


narrative; church; identity; immigration; migration; the other; xenophobia; narrative; church community; eucharist.


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