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Decolonising the Biblical Narrative Volume 1


The First Nations De-colonising of Genesis 1-11

Edited by Aunty Anne (Anne Pattel-Gray) & Uncle Norm (Norman Habel) & Australian First Nations

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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.

About the editors
Anne Pattel-Gray is a First Nations scholar who has been a fervent advocate of First Nations’ rights, issues, culture and spirituality. Her works include, Through Aboriginal Eyes and Aboriginal Spirituality, Past, Present and Future. Her acute consciousness of the influence of colonialism has moved her to re-interpret the Biblical narrative.

Norman Habel is Hebrew scholar who has long been involved in Biblical interpretation being editor of The Earth Bible Series. He has also become colonial conscious having listened to the Rainbow Spirit Elders and a range of First Nations leaders including Anne Pattel-Gray. A recent volume that reflects his colonial awareness is Acknowledgement of the Land and Faith of Aboriginal Custodians after Following the Abraham Trail.

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