“Traffic Violations”: Hospitality, Foreignness, and Exploitation: A Contextual Biblical Study of Ruth
Adapting contextual Bible study (CBS) methodology and bringing the five key Cs of CBS to the table, this article brings the biblical text of Ruth into dialogue both with the author's own experiences of sexual violation and with the experiences of a survivor of sexual trafficking in Thailand named Sanda. The rationale for juxtaposing the text and context in this way is drawn from the need to challenge the theologies of Christian rescue centers that assist girls like Sanda, because their theologies are based on the biblical principles of forgiveness of one's offenders and encourage young girls like Sanda to accept her fate (and faith) uncritically. Drawing on feminist hermeneutical principles, the premise of this paper is that the biblical characters are embodied in these living girls and women, who are searching for a healing encounter with the God of such biblical characters as Naomi and Ruth. When read through these lenses, this kind of reading holds potential for mobilizing advocacy against trafficking of women and girls.
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