Biyere, Bello Martins (2011)
M.Phil. thesis, University of Birmingham.
The text of Isaiah 53 is one of those areas of study that has attracted a wide interest among Old Testament scholars. In this field of study, historical criticism has been generally applied to the study of Deutero-Isaiah with the Babylonian exile as the historical context, and specifically the Suffering Servant text of Isaiah 53. The historical critical approach seeks to understand the text by establishing a singular, objective, and dispassionate meaning of the text and its context, thereby excluding alternative voices from the conversation. In contradistinction to the historical critical approach, this study uses postcolonial criticism to allow for multiple voices in the reading of the text, so that socio-cultural issues can be addressed in order to inspire communities towards social transformation and justice.
This dissertation, therefore aims to apply a postcolonial reading strategy to the text of the Suffering Servant in Isaiah 53 in order to address a specific socio-political problem in the Nigerian society, namely, the Niger Delta crisis. The significance of the postcolonial interpretation is that it helps to highlight the issues of power relations and domination. Such a reading strategy demonstrates the interpretation of the Servant as an active and subversive figure that carries relevance for resolving the Niger Delta crisis in Nigeria. It concludes that a postcolonial engagement with the Servant text calls for a re-configuration of theological concepts and the appropriation of the Servant leadership model in a manner that inspires justice and social transformation in the Nigerian society.
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