Professor Adriaan van Klinken and Professor Johanna Stiebert presented on the 4th February as part of the CRPL online seminar series 2020/21 with their paper titled: ‘Re-storying the Bible with Ugandan LGBTQ+ Refugees’.
In many parts of contemporary Africa, the Bible is held in high regard as sacred Scripture and is an influential socio-cultural text. Although the Bible is often used to fuel homophobic attitudes, it can also be mobilised as a tool to bring about social change and empower LGBTQ+ communities. In this presentation, Johanna Stiebert and Adriaan van Klinken talk about their ‘Sacred Queer Stories’ research project. Based on methods of contextual bible study, the project centres on reading the Bible with a group of Ugandan LGBTQ+ refugees based in Kenya, through the lens of their life experiences. Using the story of Daniel in the Lions’ Den as a case in point, we will explore the communal and creative process through which participants re-storied the biblical narrative in the contemporary context in order to achieve liberatory and empowering results of striking originality. The analysis of the process and findings is framed in terms of a hermeneutics of trust, as contrasted with a hermeneutics of suspicion.