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The Heavenly Canopy: A Reader-Response Approach to Matthew's Infancy Narrative from the Tribal Context of North East India.

Angami, Zhodi (2012) The Heavenly Canopy: A Reader-Response Approach to Matthew's Infancy Narrative from the Tribal Context of North East India. Doctor of Philosophy thesis, UNSPECIFIED.

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    Abstract

    In this study, I employ contextual reader-response criticism to read Matthew’s infancy narrative from the perspective of tribal communities of North East India.
    Insights from historical-critical approaches, postcolonial hermeneutics, and contextual readings of marginal and minority communities are also incorporated. The purpose is
    to provide an interpretation of the narrative that makes sense to the tribals by reading it with tribal concerns, sensitive to the spirituality, the culture, and the social and political experiences of the tribal people. The tribal interpretation of Matthew’s infancy narrative presented in this study arises from a conversation between tribal context and the context of the text. Dividing Matthew 1-2 into four segments, I explore the historical and literary nuances of each section, giving particular attention to the perspective from which a tribal reader might approach the narrative. The tribal perspective articulated here takes its interpretive clue from the tribal political context of military occupation, which is analogous to Matthew’s setting of Roman imperial rule. Juxtaposing tribal experiences of political subjugation with that of Matthew’s narrative world, a tribal reader is inclined to see Matthew’s text as a counter-narrative, resisting imperial occupation and oppression. Another influence on interpretation comes from the tribal experience of being at the margins – socially, politically, and academically. Consequently, tribal reading of the narrative is sympathetic towards those who are on the edges of the socio-religious narrative rather than those at the centre. Besides these contextual perspectives, various aspects of tribal worldview are interwoven into the analysis. Reading in context vindicates tribal experiences and inspires hope for redemption out of oppression, discrimination, and alienation. The value of this study is that it offers an alternative way of reading biblical narrative for tribal communities of the region, espousing reading through the optic of the oppressed rather than the oppressor.

    Item Type: Theses (Doctor of Philosophy)
    Repository Version: Author's Final Manuscript
    Keywords (separated by commas): Matthew, infancy narrative, tribal, North East India, marginal reading, reader-response, contextual hermeneutics, post-colonial, imperialism
    Fields of Research: 22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2204 Religion and Religious Studies > 220405 Religion and Society
    Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 95 Cultural Understanding > 9504 Religion and Ethics > 950404 Religion and Society
    Type of Activity: Applied Research
    Subject Area(s): B - New Testament
    Association with University of Divinity: UFT-TCTS: United Faculty of Theology - Trinity College Theological School
    Depositing User: Cate Headey
    Date Deposited: 16 Jul 2012 11:21
    Last Modified: 16 Jul 2012 11:21
    URI: http://repository.divinity.edu.au/id/eprint/1092

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