The land has colours

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


This essay brings colour to the intersection of people and land, which i unfold over three parts. First, i offer a colour-review of the Yahwist garden story (Gen 2:4b–3:24), noting that colour is not often considered in the intersection of people and land (see also Steed Vernyl Davidson, in this collection). I meander through this text with the question, what are the colours of the land? Second, with the same question, i turn back to the Priestly creation narrative (Gen 1:1–2:4a) and present the light, the waters and the land as coloured co-creators with God. I argue that the concern of the Priestly narrative is broader than the interests of humans (people). It is even broader than the land, but my orientation in this essay is toward the land (for a broader orientation, see George Zachariah, in this collection). This reading challenges the traditional assumption that humans (people) are the pinnacle of the creation, and that we have been given authority to rule and to have dominion (which has been blamed for the ecological crisis; see also Barbara Rossing, in this collection). Third, i turn my question into the affirmation in the title of this essay – the land has colours – and take a leap onto the shores of theological and biblical studies with a supplementing affirmation – readings and theologies have colours, and they also colour. The resulting questions are critical: How might we be more sensitive to the colours in texts and theologies? How might we explain the colours that readers and theologians do or do not see? In other words, how do we avoid being colour-blind in our readings and theologies? And, what are the privileges, burdens and baggage of colours?
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPeople and land
Subtitle of host publicationDecolonizing theologies
EditorsJione Havea
Place of PublicationLanham, Maryland
PublisherLexington Books
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781978703612
ISBN (Print)9781978703605
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019

Publication series

NameTheology in the age of empire


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