Multiracial Resources for Interpreting the Bible
There is a wonderful and confronting new article by Dr. Wongi Park that addresses one of the perennial problems of biblical studies—that is the problem of white hegemony. White methods, sources, approaches, and scholars dominate the academic interpretation of the Bible. Now, as I say to all my students, there is nothing wrong with being white and using Eurocentric methods to interpret the Bible. The problem arises when the white way of interpreting the Bible becomes the universal way to understand those scriptures. Biblical interpretation just becomes another colonizing force.
One way of combating this lopsided approach to interpreting the Bible is by attending to multiracial interpretations of the Bible, to perspectives outside of white/eurocentric discourse.
One thing that I wanted to do as an aid to you readers was to reproduce the really helpful bibliography offered by Dr. Park for those who wouldn’t normally have access to his article. I’m grateful to Dr. Park for providing us with such a rich and helpful current list of multiracial biblical scholarship. I’ve tried to provide links directly to publishers for you to purchase/access the resources for you and your communities. Bon appétit.
For recent and representative works in Africana biblical interpretation, see:
Felder, Stony the Road We Trod: African American Biblical Interpretation, ed. Cain Hope Felder (Minneapolis: Fortress, 1991)
Musa W. Dube, ed., Other Ways of Re ading: African Women and the Bible, GPBS 2 (Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2001)
Brian K. Blount et al., eds., True to Our Native Land: An African American New Testament Commentary (Minneapolis: Fortress, 2007)
Hugh R. Page and Randall C. Bailey, The Africana Bible: Reading Israel’s Scriptures from Africa and the African Diaspora (Minneapolis: Fortress, 2010)
Andrew M. Mbuvi, Dora R. Mbuwayesango, and Musa W. Dube, eds., Postcolonial Perspectives in African Biblical Interpretations, GPBS 13 (Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2012)
Mitzi J. Smith, ed., I Found God in Me: A Womanist Biblical Hermeneutics Reader (Eugene, OR: Cascade, 2015)
Hulisani Ramantswana, “Decolonising Biblical Hermeneutics in the (South) African Context,” AcT 36 (2016): 178–203
Emerson B. Powery and Rodney S. Sadler Jr., The Genesis of Liberation: Biblical Interpretation in the Antebellum Narratives of the Enslaved (Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2016)
Madipoane Masenya (Ngwan’a Mphahlele) and Kenneth N. Ngwa, eds., Navigating African Biblical Hermeneutics: Trends and Themes from Our Pots and Our Calabashes (Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars, 2018)
Lisa M. Bowens, African American Readings of Paul: Reception, Resistance, and Transformation (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2020)
Mitzi J. Smith, Angela Parker, and Erica Dunbar, eds., Bitter the Chastening Rod: African American Interpretation in the Age of #BLM, #SayHerName, and #MeToo (Lexington/Fortress Academic, forthcoming).
For recent and representative works in Asian American biblical interpretation, see:
Tat-siong Benny Liew and Gale A. Yee, eds., The Bible in Asian America, Semeia 90/91 (2002)
Mary F. Foskett and Jeffrey Kah-Jin Kuan, eds., Ways of Being, Ways of Reading: Asian American Biblical Interpretation (St. Louis: Chalice, 2006)
Rita Nakashima Brock et al., eds., Off the Menu: Asian and Asian North American Women’s Religion and Theology (Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 2007)
Tat-siong Benny Liew, What Is Asian American Biblical Hermeneutics? Reading the New Testament, Intersections (Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press, 2008)
Gale A. Yee, “Where Are You Really From? An Asian American Feminist Biblical Scholar Reflects on Her Guild,” in New Feminist Christianity: Many Voices, Many Views, ed. Mary E. Hunt and Diann L. Neu (Woodstock, VT: SkyLight Paths, 2010), 70–85, 307–9
Sze-kar Wan, “Asian American Perspectives: Ambiva- lence of the Model Minority and Perpetual Foreigner,” in Studying Paul’s Letters: Contemporary Perspectives and Methods, ed. Joseph A. Marchal (Minneapolis: Fortress, 2012), 175–90
Jin Young Choi, “Asian/Asian American Interpretation,” in The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Bible and Gender Studies, ed. Julia M. O’Brien (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014), 1–9
Uriah Y. Kim and Seung Ai Yang, eds., T&T Clark Handbook of Asian American Biblical Hermeneutics (London: T&T Clark, 2019)
Jin Young Choi and Wongi Park, “Systemic Racism and the Global Pandemic: Negotiating Race and Ethnicity in Asian American Biblical Criticism,” Bible and Critical Theory 16 (2020): 1–18.
For recent and representative works in Indigenous biblical interpretation, see:
Steven Charleston, “The Old Testament of Native America,” in Native and Christian: Indigenous Voices on Religious Identity in the United States and Canada, ed. James Treat (New York: Routledge, 1996), 68–80
and, in the same volume, William Baldridge, “Native American Theology: A Biblical Basis,” 100–101
Mark Clatterbuck, Crow Jesus: Personal Stories of Native Religious Belonging (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2017)
Clara Sue Kidwell, Homer Noley, and George E. “Tink” Tinker, A Native American Theology (Maryknoll: Orbis Books, 2001)
and in this volume, George E. “Tink” Tinker, “Christology: Who Do You Say That I Am?,” 62–84
Elsa Tamez, “The Bible and the Five Hundred Years of Conquest,” in Sugirtharajah, Voices from the Margin (2016), 3–18
and, in the same volume, Robert Allen Warrior, “A Native American Perspective: Canaan- ites, Cowboys, and Indians,” 283–90
Ndikho Mtshiselwa, “Indigenous Biblical Scholarship,” OTE 24 (2011): 668–89
T. Christopher Hoklotubbe (Choctaw), “Native American Interpretation of the Bible,” Oxford Biblical Studies Online, 17 February 2021
For recent and representative works in Islander biblical interpretation, see:
Nasili Vaka’uta et al., eds., Talanoa Rhythms: Voices from Oceania (Auckland: Masilamea Press, 2011)
Jione Havea, Margaret P. Aymer, and Steed Vernyl Davidson, eds., Islands, Islanders, and the Bible: Ruminations, SemeiaSt 77 (Atlanta: SBL Press, 2015)
Jione Havea, David J. Neville, and Elaine M. Wainwright, eds., Bible, Borders, Belonging(s): Engaging Readings from Oceania, SemeiaSt 75 (Atlanta: Society of Biblical Literature, 2014)
Mark G. Brett and Jione Havea, eds., Colonial Contexts and Postcolonial Theologies: Storyweaving in the Asia-Pacific, Postcolonialism and Religions (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014)
Steed Vernyl Davidson, “From Sola Scriptura to Maroonage: Reflections on Caribbean Biblical Interpretation,” Canadian-American Theological Review 6 (2017): 1–16
Brian F. Kolia, “Eve, the Serpent, and a Samoan Love Story: A Fāgogo Reading of Genesis 3:1–19 and Its Implications for Animal Studies,” Bible and Critical Theory 15 (2019): 156–63.
For recent and representative works in Latinx American biblical interpretation, see:
Francisco Lozada Jr. and Fernando F. Segovia, eds., Latino/a Biblical Hermeneutics: Problematics, Objectives, Strategies, SemeiaSt 68 (Atlanta: SBL Press, 2014)
Francisco Lozada Jr., Toward a Latino/a Biblical Interpretation, RBS 91 (Atlanta: SBL Press, 2017)
Timothy J. Sandoval, “Latino/a/x Biblical Interpretation Related to the Hebrew Bible,” CurBR 16 (2018): 236–62
Jacqueline M. Hidalgo, “Latina/o/x Studies and Biblical Studies,” Brill Research Perspectives in Biblical Interpretation 3 (2018): 1–98
Francisco Lozada Jr. and Fernando F. Segovia, eds., Latino/a Theology and the Bible: Ethnic-Racial Reflections on Interpretation (Lanham, MD: Lexington/Fortress Academic, 2021).