Campus Location

Abilene Campus (Residential)

Date of Award

5-2022

Document Type

Thesis

Department

Theology, Ministry, Missions (GST)

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Committee Chair or Primary Advisor

Wes Crawford

Second Committee Member or Secondary Advisor

Doug Foster

Third Committee Member or Committee Reader

Yukikazu Obata

Abstract

During World War II (WWII), the United States of America relocated and incarcerated thousands of people of Japanese descent, also known as Nikkei, living in the

western United States. Some of these incarcerated Nikkei were Japanese nationals, but the majority were American citizens. Most white Americans said and did very little to oppose the incarceration or to aid incarcerated Nikkei, and American Christians were no exception. This study examines how one Christian group, Churches of Christ, responded to the incarceration in light of this group’s theological character.

While the responses of members of Churches of Christ to the incarceration are not categorically different from the responses of other white American Christians, this study shows how several theological characteristics of Churches of Christ shaped the movement’s responses. The congregational polity, particular emphasis on Christian unity, and belief in the church as a millennial society combined with the prevalence of white supremacy within the movement to affect the movement’s responses. This study looks at both public responses, which are seen as representative of the movement as a whole, and private responses, which represent the speech and actions of individuals. The relevant theological characteristics led many in the movement to not respond at all to the incarceration and shaped the words and actions of those who did respond.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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