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Postcolonial Networks brings together scholars, activists, and leaders with the urgency of a movement to foster decolonized relationships, innovative scholarship, and social transformation.

Monthly Archives: November 2011

Global Political Economy & Its Neocolonial Vices: Postcolonial Theological Reflections on Economic Justice

November 17th, 2011|

Colonialism’s economic and racial systems are often seen as relics of the past, systems that ended with formal European occupation. Postcolonial theologies disagree with this assessment. Postcolonial theologies expose and deconstruct the ways in which economic and racial colonial systems persist: through new forms of economic and racial imperialism, often referred to as neo-colonialism. This essay not only explores the effects of neocolonialism on people of color around the world but also suggests how postcolonial theological reflection can help fashion a transnational vision of economic justice in response to global economic hegemony people of color experience and endure worldwide. Scholars concerned with postcolonial subjects should not only deconstruct neo-colonial logic and practices but must also offer a vision of economic justice in response to the inequality and inequity postcolonial subjects consistently confront.

Review of R. S. Sugirtharajah, Exploring Postcolonial Biblical Criticism: History, Method, Practice (Chidester, West Sussex: Wiley-Blackwell, 2012), 211 pp.

November 16th, 2011|

What is the need for another introduction to postcolonial biblical criticism? Didn’t Sugirtharajah publish the highly acclaimed Postcolonial Criticism and Biblical Interpretation (Oxford 2002) almost a decade ago? The answers to these questions are simple: postcolonial biblical criticism keeps on developing. This text begins with an introductory chapter on postcolonial theory and concludes with an afterword that discusses the future of postcolonial biblical criticism. It charts the development of the field, criticizes Orientalist reading practices, and offers helpful reading strategies. It includes a chapter by Ralph Broadbent summarizing the foundational texts in postcolonial biblical criticism. On the back cover, Stephen D. Moore says the book is accessible to novices, but “old hands will also learn enormously from it.” I couldn’t agree more.

Review of Purushottama Bilimoria and Andrew B. Irvine, eds. Postcolonial Philosophy of Religion (Springer, 2009), 350 pp.

November 16th, 2011|

This multi-authored work, Postcolonial Philosophy of Religion, is the first collection of its kind. The authors re-examine colonial experience in India and the Americas, offering discussion of broad methodological issues, critical re-readings of influential Western interpreters of religion, and exploring blind spots and insights typical of colonial difference when viewed through “non-Western” eyes. This volume is aimed at advanced undergraduates, graduate students, and professional scholars in philosophy, religion, and related fields. Readers will benefit from its broad coverage of regions, traditions and problems, and the balance of philosophical critique and reconstruction.

Review of Utz McKnight, The Everyday Practice of Race in America: Ambiguous Privilege (New York: Routledge, 2010), 128 pp.

November 13th, 2011|

Utz McKnight calls the election of the first black president of the United States “the ultimate act of a politics of representation” through which “the inclusion of some Blacks is used to subordinate others. This inclusion is based on the need to eliminate not the use of race, but to eliminate the ability to argue that racism is still being practiced” (p. 1).

Review of David Jefferess, Postcolonial Resistance: Culture, Liberation, and Transformation (Toronto, Buffalo, and London: University of Toronto Press, 2008), 240 pp.

November 12th, 2011|

Jefferess, who teaches in the English and Cultural Studies Programs at the University of British Columbia, makes good use of his research interest in postcolonial literatures. His thoughtful analysis of critical perspectives on two novels: Tsitsi Dangarembga’s Nervous Conditions and Sindiwe Magona’s Mother to Mother, successfully problematizes the notion of resistance as opposition as well as the binary, simplistic constructions of victim and perpetrator.

Review of Jennifer G. Bird, Abuse, Power and Fearful Obedience: Reconsidering 1 Peter’s Commands to Wives. T&T Clark International: London, 2001, 186 pp.

November 12th, 2011|

The author’s intention in Abuse, Power and Fearful Obedience is to address how women/wives are constructed by 1 Peter. Bird does so by analysing what she describes as their “circumscribed subjectivity prescribed by kyriarchical structures and power relations, created and sustained by abusive power dynamics” (p.86). By viewing the text through a postcolonial, feminist, and materialist lens Bird raises some challenging questions about the way 1 Peter can be used to subdue and control women, and she offers the reader an introduction into the patriarchical /kyriarchical reality that is present in the Christian text.

Review of Martin McKinsey, Hellenism and the Postcolonial Imagination: Yeats, Cavafy, Walcott (Madison: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 2010), 224 pp.

November 9th, 2011|

Martin McKinsey's Hellenism and the Postcolonial Imagination is an energetic comparative reading of three very different poets, each occupying a peculiar position with respect to the cultural and political center of the British Empire. McKinsey organizes his reading around the trope of Hellenism, which refers broadly to the “historically mediated idea of ancient Greece and its cultures,” as cultivated among intellectuals in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Europe, and narrowly to “the espousal of the Hellenic ideal and the assertion of Greek exceptionalism” among Victorian authors (p. 9). McKinsey applies a postcolonial analytic to Yeats, Cavafy, and Walcott, each of whom appropriated Hellenism differently according to specific local concerns.