This innovative study moves briskly but comprehensively through three phases of the Third World's encounter with the Bible – precolonial, colonial and postcolonial. It recounts the remarkable story of how an inaccessible and marginal book in the ancient Churches of India, China and North Africa became an important tool in the hands of both colonizer and colonized; how it has been reclaimed and interrogated in the postcolonial world; and how it is now being reread by various indigenes, Native Americans, dalits and women.
Drawing on substantial exegetical examples, Sugirtharajah examines reading practices ranging from the vernacular to liberation and the newly emerging postcolonial criticism. His study emphasizes the often overlooked biblical reflections of people such as Equiano and Ramabai as well as better-known contemporaries like Gutiérrez and Tamez. Partly historical and partly hermeneutical, the volume will provide invaluable insights into the Bible in the Third World for students and interested general readers.
R. S. SUGIRTHARAJAH is Reader in Biblical Hermeneutics at the University of Birmingham. Dr Sugirtharajah is author of Asian Biblical Hermeneutics and Postcolonialism (1999) and has edited and contributed to a number of volumes including: Dictionary of Third World Theologies (2000), Vernacular Hermeneutics (1999), Postcolonial Bible (1998) and Voices from the Margin (1995 and 1991). He won the Catholic Press Association Book Award for Voices from the Margin.