The Bible and Africana Lives: Toward a Poetics of Restoration, Healing, and Common Sense
Originally Published on the website of Oblate School of Theology
Sept 25 | 9:00AM – 12:00PM Central Time | ONLINE EVENT VIA ZOOM WEBINAR
Recent events have made clear the fraught nature of Black life. Such include the COVID-19 pandemic, the continuing peril faced by persons of African descent in the United States and elsewhere, and the problematic use of the Bible as proof-text in the justification of ideas, policies, and practices inimical to Black thriving. As a result, the need for theological readings of the Bible as Scripture that are restorative, promote healing, and that are grounded in liberating notions of “common sense” derived broadly from Africana epistemologies is particularly acute. This lecture will suggest possible guideposts for such readings. It is hoped that it will contribute to larger conversations about ways that authoritative texts, like the Bible, can be more strategically engaged to promote wholeness and in ways consistent with the aspirations implicit in United Nations General Assembly resolution 68/237, which declared 2015 – 2024 as the “International Decade for People of African Descent.”
The presentation is sponsored by Sankofa Institute for African American Pastoral Leadership.
(The Rev. Canon Dr.) Hugh R. Page, Jr. is Professor of Theology and Africana Studies; and Vice President and Associate Provost at the University of Notre Dame. He holds a PhD in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations from Harvard University. His research interests include early Hebrew poetry; Africana biblical interpretation; the role of mysticism and esotericism in Anglican and Africana spiritualities; and the Blues aesthetic. His most recent sole-authored work is Israel’s Poetry of Resistance: Africana Perspectives on Early Hebrew Verse (Fortress, 2013). He is also general editor of The Africana Bible: Reading Israel’s Scriptures from Africa and the African Diaspora (Augsburg Fortress, 2010); and one of the co-editors for both the Fortress Commentary on the Old Testament and Apocrypha (Fortress, 2014) and Esotericism in African American Religious Experience: “There is a Mystery” … (Brill, 2015). He is an elected member of the Society for the Study of Black Religion (SSBR) and a Research Associate of Human Relations Area Files (HRAF) at Yale University. A priest in The Episcopal Church, he is an Honorary Canon of the Cathedral of St. James, South Bend, IN.
Over the past twenty years, as faculty member and administrator, he has been part of three major strategic planning committees focused on diversity and inclusion at Notre Dame; chair of an ad hoc committee charged with enhancing cultural competency in the University’s undergraduate curriculum; and helped to create both a dissertation year fellowship initiative for African American doctoral students (the Erskine Peters Program, 2000 – 2012) and a postdoctoral fellowship initiative for Women and Scholars-of-Color (the Moreau Postdoctoral Fellowship Program, 2012 – Present). He was part of the collaborative that helped create the University’s Department of Africana Studies in 2005; and is part of the team in the Provost’s Office working on projects related to inclusive excellence.
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