Revisiting the Babylonian Exile in Jeremiah 29: 1 -14: A Samoan La-tō Reading using an Oceanic Hermeneutic
This project explores the feasibility of a Samoan approach to the Judahites’ ‘exile,’ with particular reference to Jeremiah 29:1-14. The word ‘exile’ in the Hebrew Bible can imply discipline as an act of love, life, and hope rather than hatred and wrath. This positive interpretation challenges the dominant negative Samoan view of the Babylonian Exile, which was influenced by Pacific missionary pioneers and the tacit acceptance of the Bible in Samoa. Specifically, this project will develop a la-tō (‘travel away from home’) perspective as an alternative reading approach, reflecting opportunity and hope that results from exploration. The project also raises concerns about apparent inaccuracies in the translation of the Samoan Bible that influence modern believers to be either victims of misinterpretation or silently to tolerate the limitations of the missionary translation. Ideally, a la-tō approach is one that enables Samoan readers to engage with the Bible in light of their own contextual reality. By utilising this Oceanic, specifically Samoan, approach, this project re-visits the Babylonian Exile in order to view it through a Samoan lens.
Advisor: Harding, James Edward
Degree Name: Master of Theology
Degree Discipline: Department of Theology and Religion
Publisher: University of Otago
Keywords: Old Testament; Babylonian Exile; Oceanic Hermeneutic; Book of Jeremiah
Research Type: Thesis