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Old Testament Essays

On-line version ISSN 2312-3621
Print version ISSN 1010-9919


SNYMAN, Gerrie F.. Esther and African Biblical Hermeneutics: a decolonial inquiry. Old testam. essays [online]. 2014, vol.27, n.3, pp.1035-1061. ISSN 2312-3621.

In this essay the author looks at the decolonial critique on Western epistemology as presented within Western biblical hermeneutics in order to appreciate the focus on the geopolitical and the body political nature of knowledge. To this end, the author revisits an aspect of the book of Esther, namely the issue of Haman as perpetrator, not only to utilise decoloniality as a heuristic key to read the book, but to explore similarities with the current postapartheid context of race trouble. The discussion proceeds as follows: (a) an exploration of aspects of Haman's comportment in the story in terms of a colonial matrix of power and Mordecai in terms of a coloniality of being; (b) a discussion on decoloniality in terms of (i) the decolonial turn, (ii) coloniality, (iii) the three ego's, (iv) the non-ethics of war, (v) the zone of being and the zone of nonbeing and (vi) the objective of decoloniality; (c) a proposition to unthink race by taking seriously (i) race trouble as a direct consequence of the colonial matrix of power, (ii) and to take the geopolitical and body political location of knowledge production seriously.

Keywords : Cain; decolonial turn; colonialism; Book of Esther; Haman; Mordecai.

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