Tuesday, July 06, 2010

my paper went well – Bible, plough and damper: responding to a de/colonising God

I delivered my paper – titled Bible, plough and damper: responding to a de/colonising God – today. It seemed to gain lots of energy and positive feedback today: the radio man recording for ABC shook my hand in genuine appreciation, while my chief interlocur called it “great”.

What I wanted to do was explore how indigenous communities read the Biblical text, particularly when it is perceived that the dominant culture has brought the Bible as part of the colonisation process. I would suggest such work is of importance given the concern with how contemporary Christianity will survive in the face of what is often perceived as colonising – the threats of consumerism and globalisation.

I looked at two historic examples. One was the Parihaka story and Te Whiti O Rongomai’s use of the Bible, when the story of Samson in Judges inspired their acts of non-violent resistance. The other was the Aboriginal people of Yarralin and Lingara, who have a story of Ned Kelly as a type of Christ figure, multiplying damper and giving his life. My interest was not so much on the actual biblical texts, but on the reading strategies ie how specific communities used the Biblical text.

For those interested, here was my conclusion: (more…)

Posted by steve at 07:57 PM