‘Open gates and doors’: YDS professor raises voice as part of 100 days/100 letters project

Through a nonpartisan campaign called “American Values Religious Voices,” 100 scholars from a diverse range of religious traditions are sending one-page letters to the president, key administration members, and all members of the House and Senate.

Today’s letter is by Yii-Jan Lin ’14 Ph.D., Assistant Professor of New Testament at Yale Divinity School.

In his farewell speech to the nation,” Lin writes, “Ronald Reagan spoke of his vision for America, describing the country as a ‘shining city … with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity, and if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here.’”

Lin goes on to note that the then-president was invoking imagery from the Book of Revelation and its depictions of the New Jerusalem. Both Reagan and the author of Revelation, Lin writes, “knew that inviting others in and playing host to the nations of the earth meant greater wealth and power, not less.”

Read Yii-Jan Lin’s letter.

Lin, who received her Ph.D. from Yale in 2014, is a New Testament scholar who focuses on critical race theory, gender and sexuality, and immigration. Her current research examines apocalypticism and the use of Revelation in the political discourse surrounding American immigration, both in utopian visions of America and dystopian fear of “outsiders.”

The 100 scholars participating in the project come from 68 colleges and universities in 21 states and the District of Columbia. Later in the 100-day period, a letter by YDS Dean Greg Sterling will be featured.

February 19, 2017