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Keywords:

  • radical hospitality;
  • Jacques Derrida;
  • Friedrich Nietzsche;
  • gift;
  • forgiveness;
  • invisible debt;
  • economy of debt;
  • ethics of hospitality

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this paper is to reconstruct a Christian theology of “hospitality” through a critical reading of Jacques Derrida and Friedrich Nietzsche as well as through an in-depth biblical and theological reflection on the ethics of hospitality. Out of this reconstructive investigation, I propose a new Christian ethics of hospitality as a radical kind. As a new paradigm, this radical hospitality is distinguished from other types in that it is no longer conceived on the model of “gift”. The new Christian ethics of hospitality is rather reconstructed on the model of “forgiveness” by critically appropriating the concept of “invisible debt” that lies between the hosting citizens and the migrants in the senses of “you owe us your presence” and “I owe you my security and success.” While the hospitality of the gift defines the relationship between the hosting citizens and the migrants as givers and givees, the new paradigm of hospitality identifies this relationship as between creditors and debtors. In this regard, a new Christian hospitality called for unto citizens of the hosting society is a radical kind that challenges them to transcend the creditor-debtor consciousness.