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Biblical Representations of Moab

A Kenyan Postcolonial Reading


R.S. Wafula

Biblical Representations of Moab: A Kenyan Postcolonial Reading employs critical theories on colonial, anticolonial, and postcolonial ethnicity and African cultural hermeneutics to examine the overlap of politics, ethnicity, nationality, economics, and religion in contemporary Kenya and to utilize those critical tools to illuminate the Hebrew Bible narratives concerning the Moabites.
This book can be used by teachers and students of contemporary methods in Hebrew Bible studies, postcolonial studies, Africana studies, African biblical hermeneutics, political science, gender studies, history, philosophy, international studies, religion and peace studies, African affairs, and ethnic/racial conflict and resolution studies. It would also be of immense value to clergy and lay leaders engaged in interfaith or interethnic/racial dialogue.
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Chapter 6. General Concluding Remarks


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We are accustomed to reading biblical texts as religious documents. But in this book I have demonstrated that the Hebrew Bible is a sociopolitical and economic document as much as it is a religious document. Its writings were produced within an ANE context of imperial power dynamics involving Egypt, Assyria, Babylonia, and Persia. Within this context, Israel and other ethnic subgroups struggle for survival against imperial forces. This survival involved both disavowing and reinscribing imperial power as was necessary to either gain favor from the imperial power of the day or gain a sociopolitical and economic advantage over other ethnic groups. Part of the strategy in the power struggles involved representing self and the Other in ways that accent or omit information to maximize the effect of the propaganda and achieve the intended purposes. This endeavor often relied upon religious philosophies as a tool to legitimize sociopolitical and economic claims.

But the use of religion to achieve sociopolitical and economic purposes is not unique to the Hebrew Bible. All of the ANE imperial powers made use of religion to this end. For example, the Egyptian pharaohs considered themselves to be messengers of the divine world with authority that was derived from “a changeless order established at creation.”1 The Pharaoh was the “avatar of the gods and lord of the entire Egyptian domain.”2 The Assyrian King Sargon II ← 221 | 222 → (722–705 B.C.E.) speaks of having...

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