A Restorative Model: Jeremiah's Prophetic Response to Displacement in Washington, D.C.
ABSTRACTThis thesis is offers exilic texts as the basis for restoration for communities traumatized by displacement. The scriptural focus for the thesis is Jeremiah 30-33, the Book of Restoration. The purpose of the thesis is to provide tools for inner-city pastors to navigate the opportunities and challenges of displacement caused by gentrification. The thesis is fueled by the contrast between numerous studies that report the benefits of gentrification versus its ills experienced as a pastoral witness of the machinery of displacement in the northwest quadrant of Washington, D.C. In Dr. Ellen Davis’ work on Jeremiah, she shows Jeremiah’s painful growth into his prophetic role. This growth occurs through laments or “protests addressed to God” thus making it possible to “lay claim to realistic hope.” This birth of hope is in the beginning of the book in Jeremiah 1:10, “See, today I appoint you over nations and over kingdoms, to pluck up and to pull down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant,” with building and planting as themes for Jeremiah 30-33. Dr. Davis further explicates hope’s placement. Hope finds a concrete place economically through Jeremiah’s land purchase (Chapter 32:6-15) and socially through community building (chapters 30 and 31). Building upon this work, my thesis concludes that Book of Restoration provides a relevant and effective model of restoration for today’s church.
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