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Rebekah Welton

In ‘He is a Glutton and a Drunkard’: Deviant Consumption in the Hebrew Bible Rebekah Welton uses interdisciplinary approaches to explore the social and ritual roles of food and alcohol in Late Bronze Age to Persian-period Syro-Palestine (1550 BCE–400 BCE). This contextual backdrop throws into relief episodes of consumption deemed to be excessive or deviant by biblical writers. Welton emphasises the social networks of the household in which food was entangled, arguing that household animals and ritual foodstuffs were social agents, challenging traditional understandings of sacrifice. For the first time, the accusation of being a ‘glutton and a drunkard’ (Deut 21:18-21) is convincingly re-interpreted in its alimentary and socio-ritual contexts.

Cushites in the Hebrew Bible

Negotiating Ethnic Identity in the Past and Present

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Kevin Burrell

Cushites in the Hebrew Bible offers a reassessment of Cushite ethnographic representations in the biblical literature as a counterpoint to misconceptions about Africa and people of African descent which are largely a feature of the modern age.
Whereas current interpretations have tended to emphasize unfavourable portraits of the people biblical writers called Cushites, Kevin Burrell illuminates the biblical perspective through a comparative assessment of ancient and modern forms of identity construction. Past and present modes of defining difference betray both similarities and differences to ethnic representations in the Hebrew Bible, providing important contexts for understanding the biblical view. This book contributes to a clearer understanding of the theological, historical, and ethnic dynamics underpinning representations of Cushites in the Hebrew Bible.

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Edited by John J. Collins and Ananda Geyser-Fouché

This volume contains 17 essays on the subjects of text, canon, and scribal practice. The volume is introduced by an overview of the Qumran evidence for text and canon of the Bible. Most of the text critical studies deal with texts from the Dead Sea Scrolls, including sectarian as well as canonical texts. Two essays shed light on the formation of authoritative literature. Scribal practice is illustrated in various ways, again mostly from the Dead Sea Scrolls. One essay deals with diachronic change in Qumran Hebrew. Rounding out the volume are two thematic studies, a wide-ranging study of the “ambiguous oracle” of Josephus, which he identifies as Balaam’s oracle, and a review of the use of female metaphors for Wisdom.

Biblical Interpretation and African Traditional Religion

Cross-Cultural and Community Readings in Owamboland, Namibia

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Helen C. John

In Biblical Interpretation and African Traditional Religion, Helen C. John juxtaposes grassroots biblical interpretations from Owamboland, Namibia, with professional interpretations of selected New Testament texts, effectively demonstrating the capacity of grassroots interpretations to destabilise, challenge and nuance dominant professional interpretations. John uses a cross-cultural and dialogical approach – ‘Cross-Cultural Biblical Interpretation Groups’ – to explore the relationship between African Traditional Religion (ATR), Christianity and biblical interpretation in Owamboland, Namibia. She contextualises the grassroots Owambo interpretations using fieldwork experiences and ethnographic literature, thus heightening the cross-cultural encounter. In particular, John reflects on Western epistemologies and the Eurocentric interpretative trends that are brought into relief by the African interpretations gathered in Owamboland.

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Janice P. De-Whyte

In Wom(b)an: A Cultural-Narrative Reading of the Hebrew Bible Barrenness Narratives Janice Pearl Ewurama De-Whyte offers a reading of the Hebrew Bible barrenness narratives. The original word “wom(b)an” visually underscores the centrality of a productive womb to female identity in the ANE and Hebrew contexts. Conversely, barrenness was the ultimate tragedy and shame of a woman. Utilizing Akan cultural custom as a lens through which to read the Hebrew barrenness tradition, De-Whyte uncovers another kind of barrenness within these narratives. Her term “social barrenness” depicts the various situations of childlessness that are generally unrecognized in western cultures due to the western biomedical definitions of infertility. Whether biological or social, barrenness was perceived to be the greatest threat to a woman’s identity and security as well as the continuity of the lineage. Wom(b)an examines these narratives in light of the cultural meanings of barrenness within traditional cultures, ancient and present.

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Edited by Louis Jonker, Gideon Kotzé and Christl M. Maier

This volume presents the main lectures of the 22nd Congress of the International Organization for the Study of the Old Testament (IOSOT) held in Stellenbosch, South Africa, in September 2016. Sixteen internationally distinguished scholars present their current research on the Hebrew Bible, including the literary history of the Hebrew text, its Greek translation and history of interpretation. Some focus on archeological and iconographic sources and the reconstruction of ancient Israelite religion while others discuss the formation of the biblical text and its impact for cultural memory. The volume gives readers a representative view of the most recent developments in the study of the Old Testament.

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Getatchew Haile

The Ethiopian Orthodox Church’s Tradition on the Holy Cross is a volume that combines both ancient and derived Ethiopic literature on the Cross. The work brings together all the major sources from manuscripts preserved in different monasteries and edited and translated into English. The sources include homilies by Minas bishop of Aksum, John Chrysostom, James of Sarug, as well as a number of anonymous authors, all translated from Greek during the Aksumite era.
The derived literature includes works by the famous men of the pen, including the fifteenth-century Abba Giyorgis of Sägla and Emperor Zär’a Ya‘ǝqob. Poetic hymns to the Cross constitute a part of the collection, one of these being glorification of the Cross by Abba Baḥrǝy, author of several important works.

The Stolen Bible

From Tool of Imperialism to African Icon

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Gerald O. West

The Stolen Bible tells the story of how Southern Africans have interacted with the Bible from its arrival in Dutch imperial ships in the mid-1600s through to contemporary post-apartheid South Africa.

The Stolen Bible emphasises African agency and distinguishes between African receptions of the Bible and African receptions of missionary-colonial Christianity. Through a series of detailed historical, geographical, and hermeneutical case-studies the book analyses Southern African receptions of the Bible, including the earliest African encounters with the Bible, the translation of the Bible into an African language, the appropriation of the Bible by African Independent Churches, the use of the Bible in the Black liberation struggle, and the ways in which the Bible is embodied in the lives of ordinary Africans.

Augustine’s Cyprian

Authority in Roman Africa

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Matthew Alan Gaumer

In Augustine’s Cyprian Matthew Gaumer retraces how Augustine of Hippo devised the ultimate strategy to suppress Donatist Christianity, an indigenous form of the religion in ancient North Africa. Spanning nearly forty years, Augustine’s entire clerical career was spent combating the Donatists and seeking the dominance of the Catholic Church in North Africa. Through a variety of approaches Augustine evolved a method to successfully outlaw and deconstruct the Donatist Church’s organisation. This hinged on concerted preaching, tract writing, integrating Roman imperial authorities, and critically: by denying the Donatists’ exclusive claim to Cyprian of Carthage. Re-appropriation of Cyprian’s authority required Augustine and his allies to re-write history and pose positions contrary to Cyprian’s. In the end, Cyprian was the Donatists’ no longer.