Mid-month new October 2023 email@example.com +254721804282
Lecture on 18th October The time of this lecture has changed. Instead of 12 noon, the planned time for this lecture, so as to allow people who are working to attend, is 17.00hrs. For details see https://www.vulnerablemission.org Title: ‘Researching Africa in Light of the ‘Religions’ of Anti-racism and Christianity’.
I am to virtually attend a conference in Dallas 13th and 14th October 2023. Mine will be one of the first papers. Here is the programme: https://www.emsweb.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/09/EMS-2023-Conference-Schedule-FINAL.pdf
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I recently found myself cycling past Wymondham Abbey on one of my travels around Norwich visiting people. (BTW, Wymondham is pronounced ‘Windham’.) It was an impressive building. On my way back, I explored what was there. Two days later, I went back to join some natives in a short time of Anglican liturgical prayer. I was amazed to find a 400-year-old Bible on display at the back of the Abbey. A text alongside it explained what it represented. The authorities did not want the Bible to be translated into English, in case people misunderstood it. Then the Bible was translated into English! Translation of the Bible has no doubt contributed to many divisions in the church ever since.
For a while, in Western Kenya where I live, missionaries did not want to translate the Bible into local languages, for the same reason. Eventually though – they did so. As a result, people have been ‘misunderstanding’ the Bible. But we need to remember: that to Protestants, this is not ‘misunderstanding’ the Bible, but understanding it correctly!
I sometimes wonder to what extent I am caught up in this? I am sure my understanding of the Bible is affected by my engagement with people in East Africa, including that much engagement that uses their own languages.
Funnily enough – now in the UK, I find myself wondering, how I could teach the Bible to British people so that they understand it correctly, given that there is so much background to what I’d want to share (that is from East Africa) that they will quite likely not know about and not understand.
‘The High Standard’
In England it seems, every thing is done to a ‘high standard’. Like, if people want a break during the day, to have a chat with their friends, they’ll get a drink designed to taste really good, and a snack that has a wonderful pre-planned combination of textures and tastes. The cost of all this is vast by comparison with what I get by on in East Africa. I find myself paying £4.00 for a cup of coffee, when in Kenya I would pay the equivalent of 15p, and be almost as satisfied … Everything being so available, and the fact that ‘everyone’ seems to partake of the same high standard, makes it hard to resist spending a fortune on refreshments.
(This picture is of myself in Norwich Cathedral last week.)
I am to be based in Andover for most of the next three weeks.