New publication: De-colonising the Biblical Narrative, Volume 1

Professor Anne Pattel-Gray (Professor of Indigenous Studies and inaugural Head of the School of Indigenous Studies) has co-edited a new book with Dr Norman Habel. De-colonising the Biblical Narrative Volume 1: The First Nations De-Colonising of Genesis 1-11 is published by ATF Press.

The book’s description reads:

De-colonising the Biblical Narrative, Volume One represents a landmark in contemporary hermeneutics. In this volume we take into account our colonial history and develop a de-colonising hermeneutic which we employ to identify the colonial editing of the text and to retrieve precolonial narratives with which First Nations peoples of Australia may resonate.

In the first volume we attempt to de-colonise the narratives of Genesis 1-11 and retrieve pre-colonial legends that are comparable to First Nations ancestral narratives. In Genesis One, for example, we retrieve a Primal Land Narrative in which the primordial ground is born, comes to life, creates life and is named ‘Land’ by the Creator Spirit.

As we work through the traditions of Genesis 1-11 we also discern colonial additions like the mandate to dominate associated with the Imago Dei in Genesis 1.26-28. At the close of the analysis of each narrative, we include the response of First Nations Australia, thereby illustrating, not only the significance of our finding, but also the relevance for First Nations peoples.

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