Teaching the Bible using Ugandan cultural resources with specific reference to the Old Testament
This study is written from the perspective of a Bible student who has lived most of her life in Uganda. The Christian faith had already been planted by Western missionaries who trained students in the Bible using (sometimes acknowledged and sometimes unacknowledged) the Western historical critical method. In using this method, the peoples' cultural heritage was ignored and their particular stories and images were not included in the interpretative process.
Through the study of the B ible both in Uganda Christian University and Western Theological Seminary, I became more familiar with both Western culture as well as my own. I became aware of a strange set of circumstances. The Ugandan culture that the missionary forebears thought was pagan, some even satanic, and thus had to be abandoned stands closer to the biblical culture than does Western culture. In many instances Ugandan culture can bring a fresh understanding of the biblical text.
I describe the Lugbara socio-cultural worldview as representative of Ugandan worldview as a whole in Chapter 1. I explain the correspondence between major themes in the biblical and Ugandan worldviews in Chapter 2: purification through blood, the power of the word, the house of God, the family circle unbroken, and spirit possession. I analyse the problems that resul t from teaching the Bible using the Western historical critical method and point to a possible new approach in chapter 3.
The thesis I wish to defend is this: the Ugandan cultural resources have not been fully utilized for teaching the Bible in Uganda. Out of this statement emerges the necessity of studying Ugandan culture, finding relationships between the Ugandan and biblical cultures, probing the weaknesses of historical critical method, and offering a plan for a new approach.
This is a descriptive study. Where possible I use the work of those who have studied my culture but much is not documented. Therefore I draw often on personal experience as someone who throughout my life has been very interested in the culture of my people, who informally has been collecting oral traditions from elders, and who has been as wel l pursuing theological education.