Academic journal article Anglican Theological Review
John and Postcolonialism: Travel, Space, and Power
John and Postcolonialism: Travel, Space, and Power. Edited by Musa W. Dube and Jeffrey L. Staley. The Bible and Postcolonialism, 7. London and New York: Sheffield Academic Press, 2002. viii + 254 pp. $115.00 (cloth); $28.95 (paper).
John and Postcolonialism is an interesting collection of essays exploring and critiquing Johannine ideology in light of postcolonial theories, especially those of Benedict Anderson, Homi Bhabha, and Anthony Cohen on nation building. Unlike two earlier collections of a similar subject in the Semeia Series, Postcolonialism and Scriptural Reading edited by Laura Donaldson (vol. 75, 1996) and A Vanishing Mediator? The Presence/Absence of the Bible in Postcolonialism edited by Roland Boer (vol. 88, 2001), this volume in The Bible and Postcolonialism Series is authored by biblical scholars rather than literary critics and it focuses on one book, the gospel of John, rather than random texts tailored for varied theories. Thus, it provides a significant test case to show how biblical scholars, armed with the oppositional reading (according to R. S. Sugirtharajah) and decolonizing strategy (according to Fernando Segovia), might offer fresh interpretation of Johannine text and critical evaluation of Johannine theology.
Originating from African, African-American, Chinese, Hispanic, Jewish, and Korean cultures, most contributors of this volume have experienced the hegemony of political, economic, and cultural colonization in their communities. They represent borderland dwellers and minority ethnic groups concerned about the impact of biblical interpretation on actual readers in real life. Diversity in background notwithstanding, they all choose to identify with the disfranchised characters (for example, the Samaritan woman in Musa Dube, pp. 51-75; the woman accused of adultery in Leticia Guardiola-Saenz, pp. 129-152) and "unorthodox" views (for example, mission as "colonial evangelism" in Francisco Lozada, Jr., pp. 76-93; Sonship Christology as "claims of superiority and dominance" in Mary Huie-Jolly, pp. …