Bible and Empire
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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
At a time of renewed interest in Empire, this stimulating volume explores the complex relationship between the Bible and the colonial enterprise, and examines some overlooked aspects of this relationship. These include unconventional retellings of the gospel story of Jesus by Thomas Jefferson and Raja Rammohun Roy; the fate of biblical texts when marshalled by Victorian preachers to strengthen British imperial intentions after the India uprising of 1857; the cultural-political use of the Christian Old Testament, first by the invaders to attack temple practices and rituals, then by the invaded to endorse the temple heritage scorned by missionaries; the dissident hermeneutics of James Long and William Colenso confronting and compromising with colonial ambitions; and finally the subtly seditious deployment of biblical citations in two colonial novels. This innovative book offers both practical and theoretical insights and provides compelling evidence of the continuing importance of postcolonial discourse for biblical studies.
'R. S. Sugirtharajah, who is Professor of Biblical Hermeneutics at the University of Birmingham, has brought together interesting essays on the relationship between the Bible and the colonial experience. He is strategically adept in his reading, offering in-depth comparisons between four pairs of figures.' Church Times '... I recommend this book to those who seek examples of what it might look like to analyze readings of the Bible in ways that attend to the imperial, colonial, and postcolonial contexts in which they have been produced.' Reviews in Religion and Theology 'There is rich material here for both theologians and historians.' Theology