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Returning To China: Biblical Interpretation in Postcolonial Hong Kong

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The paper aims to construct a new framework for biblical studies from the context of postcolonial Hong Kong. While present biblical scholarship has largely depended on historical-critical exegesis, biblical scholars of Asia have begun to conceive a different approach to the Bible, because of not only a new context of reading, but also a radically different cultural-political location of the reader. This location, as it is now being formulated, is a reading between East and West, between the dominant interpretation and scholarship of the formerly colonial and Western cultures and the newly arising consciousness of emerging postcolonial identities in the histories and cultures of Asia. After about some 150 years of British colonial rule, the identity of being a people of Hong Kong is highly hybridised. It is a hybrid identity of being cultural Chinese and yet pragmatically British, both a strong sense of identification with China and an unexplainable fear of being national Chinese. Such location of a reader transforms one's understanding of a biblical text such as Isaiah 56-66 and sheds a new light on the meaning of the return in some of its major passages.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Religion, The Chinese University of Hong Kong


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