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Biblical Interpretation and African Traditional Religion

Cross-Cultural and Community Readings in Owamboland, Namibia

Series:

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.

Series:

Helen C. John

Abstract

The reader is introduced to the main aims of the book and is given a sense of the overall narrative. The questions of why I distinguish this approach from Contextual Bible Study, as well as why, generally, I am putting forward a new methodology are addressed through the discussion of the aims. The location of the study within African Biblical Studies is explained and justified. The metanarrative is outlined: as well as offering biblical interpretations, the study will illustrate (more broadly) some of the ways in which ATR endures in Owambo contexts and interacts with Christianity.