We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Otherwise, we'll assume you're OK to continue.

Durham University

Department of Theology and Religion


Publication details for Dr Anna Rowlands

Rowlands, Anna (2018). Against the Manichees: Immigration detention and the theo-political imagination. In Religion in the European Refugee Crisis. Schmiedel, Ulrich & Smith, Graeme Cham: Palgrave Macmillan. 163-187.

Author(s) from Durham


This chapter explores the practices of immigration detention examined through an Augustinian lens. Making a case for a metaphysical reading of contemporary immigration practices distilled from the reasoning of both detainees themselves and the theological tradition, Anna Rowlands deploys Augustine’s notion of evil as the process through which the good is lost as an illuminating way to understand the disordered nature of detention practice. She concludes with an argument for attending to the question of the global, national and local “goods” that an immigration system should serve.