READING THE BIBLE IN AFRICA: ACCOUNTING FOR SOME TRENDS PART I

Jeremy Punt

Abstract


In theology African culture, thought and worldview had to wait until the demise of colonialism to be fully explored? In post-colonial (or neocolonial, Martey 1993) Africa there is an ever-increasing emphasis on theology as perceived and done in Mrica: also in the field of the academic study of the Bible. Equally, the demise of Apartheid heralded an increased emphasis on African theological- and African biblical studies in South Africa, if theological journals are anything to go by.

There is no doubt that the discovery of the contribution Africa can make to biblical studies is, even if a belated, a very rightful and necessary one although the study of the Bible seemingly does not rank amongst the priorities of African Theology. As in all efforts to make the Bible address contemporary settings and concerns, many dangers accompany the efforts to relate the Bible to African culture and more especially vice versa: the attempt to establish Africa as the most only! appropriate setting or context for understanding the Bible. At best, studies on the relationship between Africa and the Bible will then become a fad. At worse, these kind of studies can leave nothing intact or distinct of either the Biblical writings and its setting6 or African culture(s).

This contribution aims to contribute to the current debate on biblical studies in Africa, by mapping out a few contours of the Bible's appropriation in Africa in the past as well as some general perceptions within the debate, all of which takes place within the context of African culture. It is therefore advisable to begin the discussion with a few brief comments on culture, especially the African variety(-ies).


Keywords


Bible in Africa; african theology; post-colonial Africa

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7833/68-0-1120

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ISSN 2305-445X (online); ISSN 0254-1807 (print)

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