Navigating African Biblical Hermeneutics: Trends and Themes from our Pots and our Calabashes

This collection interrogates and engages the biblical text, colonial and postcolonial subjectivities and cultural assumptions, as well as lived experiences that encompass varying Africana contexts and Diasporas. In order to do this, it deploys methodologies, exegetical analyses and critical and constructive communal epistemologies. Framed by historical, literary, cultural and theological engagements of issues around wealth and power, gender, sexualities and masculinities, HIV and AIDS, as well as the crises of war and mass violence, the book will be very useful for students, academics, clergy and laity committed to Africana-conscious epistemologies and methodologies, and the impact on biblical studies.


Madipoane Masenya (Ngwan’a Mphahlele) is Professor of Old Testament Studies in the Department of Biblical and Ancient Studies at the University of South Africa, Pretoria. She has published numerous scientific articles and chapters in specialist books in the area of the Hebrew Bible and gender, especially in African contexts. She served as one of the associate editors of The Africana Bible: Reading Israel’s Scriptures from Africa and the African Diaspora (2010) and she has written her own book, How Worthy is the Woman of Worth? Rereading Proverbs 31:10-31 (2004).

Kenneth Ngwa is Associate Professor of Hebrew Bible at Drew Theological School, USA. He is the author of The Hermeneutics of the ‘Happy’ Ending in Job 42:7-17 (2005), and is currently working on a book-long project on Exodus: Postwar Hermeneutics: Exodus and its Fragmented and Reclaimed Identities.

“The contributions in this essay collection date back to the 2014 annual meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature (SBL) and its African Biblical Hermeneutics section (ABH), offering a snapshot of the theoretical and interpretive experiences voiced at this meeting. The strength of this approach is that the essays reflect the authenticity of experience. […] In sum, this is an important book. It gives vibrant glimpses into discourses of the SBL/ABH in the mid-2010s. [I]t is able to document the centrality of the SBL/ABH in contemporary African biblical hermeneutics. It offers relevant food for thought; food cooked in pots filled with local, tasty ingredients and recipes, and then served in calabashes that accentuate both taste and nutrition.”
Knut Holter
VID Specialized University, Norway; Journal of Theology for Southern Africa, 166, March 2020

“Addressing matters of gender concerns, power, sexuality and violence, this volume interrogates biblical methodology by juxtaposing it with everyday reality and concerns in Africa and African diaspora. It is a useful resource for courses in biblical hermeneutics.
Andrew Mbuvi, PhD,
Lecturer in the Religion Department, University of North Carolina at Greensboro

“The decentering of biblical studies away from a supposedly “objective” stance has been going on for some time, and this volume shows us just how far we have come. In Navigating African Biblical Hermeneutics, these scholars demonstrate that, by putting their academic training in conversation with their cultural contexts, new meanings of biblical texts emerge that are life-giving to their communities. We can all learn from their insights.”
Dr Cheryl B. Anderson
Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary

Dorothy Bea Akoto

Adekunle Dada

Dora Rudo Mbuwayesango

Aloo Mojola

Elna Mouton

Madipoane Masenya Ngwan’a Mphahlele

Ndikho Mtshiselwa

Kenneth N. Ngwa

Gilbert Ojwang

Funlola Olojede

Hulisani Ramantsuana

R. S. Wafula

Alice Yafeh-Deigh

Buy This Book

ISBN: 1-5275-1451-X

ISBN13: 978-1-5275-1451-5

Release Date: 3rd October 2018

Pages: 313

Price: £64.99

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