Wednesday June 6, 2018, Zephania Shila Nkesela publicly defended his thesis on Maasai interpretation of Old Testament texts at VID Stavanger.
The thesis is entitled A Maasai Encounter With the Bible: Nomadic Lifestyle as a Hermeneutical Question.
Nkesela has interviewed informant from the Maasai people to examine how they read selected Old Testament texts describing a nomadic lifestyle. The research question has been: How can a reading of some selected Old Testament texts with Maasai informants facilitate a liberative reflection vis-à-vis the marginalization they experience?
The dissertation has studied how the Maasai read the Bible text and how their interpretation and interaction with the text uses their cultural context and life experiences. The dissertation develops an approach that reads the Old Testament from the perspective of the reader so that the Old Testament functions as a tool to interpret the reader’s culture and current life experience.
Nkesela’s study has been a part of a larger project where researchers from Tanzania, USA and Norway has studied historical and current aspects of the meeting between the Maasai and the Bible. The project has been funded by The Research Council of Norway and lead by Professor Knut Holter.
The PhD-project has been supervised by professor Knut Holter, VID.
The evaluation committee consisted of:
- Dr Lechion Peter Kimlike, Open University, Tanzania
- Dr Ntozakhe Simon Cezula, University of Stellenbosch, South Africa
- Professor Kari Storstein Haug, VID Specialized University
The public defence was chaired by vice-rector Bård Mæland.