“Refugees” and the Problem of Identity in the UK
This chapter takes the concept of identity as a lens to examine the shifting patterns of attitudes in England to those who are forced migrants. As a policy adviser in the Church of England, Martin Kettle has observed how both legal and political rhetoric have manipulated what was once, perhaps, a straightforward concept of “the refugee.” A particular focus in the UK, since late 2015, has been the resettlement of Syrian refugees. Churches have been to the fore in campaigning on behalf of this group of refugees. Kettle attempts to trace how the “refugee” identity has been problematized as a result. Amid all the layers of social, political, and economic context which shape understandings of the “refugee,” Kettle suggests that a robust eschatology of the kingdom of God will need to be articulated if a healthy approach to refugees and identity is to be maintained within churches.