Bokeumjali in Exile: Transnational Readings of Ezekiel 40–48 and Sa-I-Gu


Jina Kang

Publication Date



This study is an investigation of the final vision report in the book of Ezekiel (Ezek 40-48) using the concept of transnationalism from the field of migration studies. Transnationalism takes a dynamic understanding of the migratory process that resists models that conceive migration as a one-time, one-way movement to the place of immigration. Rather, the dynamic and ongoing connections forged by migrants and migrant communities across borders and boundaries are recognized and the focus of analysis. In doing so, migration researchers have observed the formation of transnational social spaces. Applying the concept of "transnational social space" to interpretations of biblical texts, this study identifies dynamic transnational connections between the "home" of the exiles in Jerusalem and their "home" in Babylon to yield a complex reconstruction of home for the exiles. Therefore, this is a study about immigrants and how they think — especially, how they think about the spaces they left behind, now occupy, and dream of occupying. In order to sensitize the modern reader to some of the urgent questions of home asked and answered in Ezekiel 40-48, this study refers to a contemporary case study. The experience of a Korean-American community in the aftermath of the destruction of Koreatown during the unrest that besieged Los Angeles in the spring of 1992 documents the devastating effects of the destruction of home and the urgency for a home especially for immigrants residing far away from "home." A Korean term, bokeumjali, is introduced in this study. Bokeumjali is not exclusively defined by geography, but forms within the confines a community of shared heritage, experience, and space. Finally, this study addresses the question: "where is bokeumjali for the exiles in Babylon?"

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Theology (PhD in Theology)

First Advisor

Jacobs, Mignon

Document Type





Ezekiel, Koreans, Emigration and immigration, Immigrants, Cultural assimilation, Migrations of nations


Missions and World Christianity


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