Sunday, October 10, 2021

An Indigenous Jesus

In "An Indigenous Jesus" - my new article just published in Method and Theory in the Study of Religion - I explore how the relational category of "indigeneity" draws our attention to the relationship(s) and power-dynamics between Native/Indigenous Peoples, cultures, and traditions and the colonial context(s) within which they continue to exist. I also explore how the term sheds light on the methodological and theoretical challenges associated with determining the historical Jesus's "Jewish" identity within a predominantly "Christian" discourse. Re-describing early (Second Temple) Judaism as an "indigenous"  religion and the historical Jesus as an "indigenous" Judean does not mean that Jesus was an "Indian." What it means is that it is now possible to better understand the Jesus of history at home in and belonging to an indigenous culture characterized by the defining coordinates of land, kinship, and language. It also means that it is now easier to understand how his cultural re-location in(to) non-Jewish contexts changed the "Jesus tradition" over time.