Friday, December 17, 2010

unexpected news: reading the bible with third world eyes (you're fired)

this was a loan from a friend way, way back in the heady days of the late 90's. as a student of anthropology with an academic and agnostic's interest in mythology and religion as cultural forces, as well as a realist's perspective on the political dimension of religion and myth, it seemed like something i'd get to in short order. it's moved from apartment to apartment with me. into a box. onto my bookshelf. always in the corner of my eye, i finally plunked it on the stack as my next cultural studies read about 2 months ago.

glad i finally got to it, but let down greatly by the text. the author is christian ('not that there's anything wrong with that'), with a sympathetic view to the somewhat anachronistic idea of '3rd World Eyes' (to be fair, it was written in the early 80's). for what it is, it's really a 'steak knives.' it's meant to be a reflective tool for christians to examine the wider context of the moral implications for several key passages of scripture. i'm just a different audience than the intended one. i was looking for (and had assumed) it was a cultural studies/social sci text. while it did have its moments, an hour of brainstorming could have come up with the same examples of biblical messages that might have different implications to a non-western and subaltern audience.

note: many thanks to sarah mckinnon for the 'loan' that turned into a gift (she now lives in the UK, so there's not much chance to return the text - i've since thanked her directly for the very belated use/read, so there's some redemption i hope.)

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