Proverbs and the African Tree of Life

Grafting Biblical Proverbs on to Ghanaian Eʋe Folk Proverbs

In Proverbs and the African Tree of Life Dorothy BEA Akoto-Abutiate juxtaposes chosen sayings from Proverbs and selected Ewe Folk proverbs using the agricultural metaphor of “grafting,” which she calls a “hermeneutic of grafting.” Though these two sets of sayings come from completely different cultural contexts, Akoto argues that folk sayings/proverbs, which abound in Africa, should be considered as an already mature, established tree on to which a piece of the biblical tree is spliced or engrafted to produce hybridized fruits that have uniquely different tastes than the fruits of each tree individually. This metaphorical grafting process allows the message of the Bible (in Proverbs) to be understood, imbibed and appropriated in Africa.

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Dorothy BEA Akoto-Abutiate (Ph.D. 2012, Chicago Theological Seminary), is Adjunct Professor of Hebrew Bible at the Interdenominational Theological Center, Atlanta, USA. She has published a monograph, an edited book and many articles on postcolonial biblical interpretation in the USA, Europe, and Africa.