Reading the Bible in Africa

A Critique of Enchanted Bible Reading

In: Exchange
David T. Ngong Stillman College Tuscaloosa, Alabama USA

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This paper describes inculturation biblical reading in a narrow way to include mainly that reading of the Bible that takes for granted what is believed to be a peculiarly African spiritualistic cosmology. A central element of this method includes pitting a supposedly African spiritualized cosmology against a supposedly Western rationalistic and disenchanted cosmology. Proponents of this method claim that a relevant biblical interpretation in the African context should enable Africans to deal with issues arising from their belief in an enchanted world. This essay problematizes the focus on this enchanted cosmology and argues that the African condition can be effectively addressed through interpreting the Bible in ways that encourage the development of the scientific imagination, which could lead to the development of science and technology and an improved standard of living for the people.

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