THE IMPOSSIBLE QUEST FOR A GENERAL THEORY OF THE DIASPORA Marc Spindler 1. Missiological and ecumenical understanding of diaspora Since I wrote my short survey on the concept of diaspora in ecumenical perspective,1 diaspora theory has made little progress. This is not surpris- ing, as the biblical background of the concept is perfectly established, either with regard to the Old Testament image of the Jewish diaspora (Hebrew galuth) with its corollary coming home (Hebrew aliyah) of the dispersed Jews in the promised land, or to the New Testament positive view of the Christian dispersion, identified with the missionary expansion of the Church in spite of the intended suppression of the Christian move- ment through prohibition and deportation. "As for those who had been scattered (Greek diasparentes), they went through the country preaching the Word" (Acts 8:4 NEB). ... At the end of the second century the word "diaspora" was still used by the Christians as an alternative to the word "catholic". In the diaspora the Word has been heard, and in consequence what originally lay beyond the little circle about the God of Israel has become orientated towards the same God. The dispersed people have become the universal
Exchange – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1998
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