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‘I departed full, and the Lord has Brought me Home Empty’ (Ruth 1:21): A Transforming Word from ‘Failed Migrants’

Prior, John (2012) ‘I departed full, and the Lord has Brought me Home Empty’ (Ruth 1:21): A Transforming Word from ‘Failed Migrants’. East Asian Pastoral Review, 49 (4). pp. 394-407. ISSN 0116-0257


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This essay details how an “intuitive reading” of the Book of Ruth by a group of HIV carriers from Flores island, Indonesia, renewed their faith. The men caught the virus as economic migrants and then proceeded to give it to their wives on returning home sick. Rejected by family and by many members of the clergy, they have formed their own support group. Coming from the interior, most were not regular church goers before contacting the virus. A couple of years ago they began reading the Scriptures regularly once a month. They easily identified with Naomi and Ruth, with their failed migration, and with the tactics they were forced to use in order to survive on returning to Bethlehem. Members of the HIV support group, unsupported by the institutional Church or by their extended families, have discovered in reading the Bible together a liberating Word that has rekindled a deep personal faith in the God of compassion.

Item Type: Published Articles
Repository Version: Author's Final Manuscript
Keywords: migrants, Bible study, HIV, Book of Ruth
Fields of Research: 22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2204 Religion and Religious Studies > 220401 Christian Studies (incl. Biblical Studies and Church History)
Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970122 Expanding Knowledge in Philosophy and Religious Studies
Type of Activity: Applied Research
Subjects: B - Biblical Studies, general
College/Association with University of Divinity: YTU: Yarra Theological Union
Depositing User: Dr John Prior
Date Deposited: 15 Sep 2014 04:36
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2014 04:36
URI: http://repository.divinity.edu.au/id/eprint/1558

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