Early morning yesterday – that is, only a few hours after reposting the other night an old piece entitled “On Being a Resident Stranger” originally written on February 9, 2009 – I was reading an article “Reading the Qur’an as a Resident Alien” by His Reverence Whitney Bodman of the Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary (Texas) published in The Muslim World Journal (volume 99, October 2009).
It is interesting to know from this journal article about a concept similar to that of the ethical-mystical ghurbah espoused in “On Being a Resident Stranger”. Rev. Bodman talks about the concept of gēr (‘resident aliens’) in Hebrew which refers to the sojourners of the Old Testament. Accordingly, like Abraham sojourning in Egypt (Genesis 12:10), the gēr is both resident and alien.
For further information, one may refer to the article on ‘Sojourner’ in The Anchor Bible Dictionary (New York: Doubleday, 1992) VI, 103-4.