Double Image

Drawing on fifteen years of pastoral experience in West Africa, Del Tarr presents a wonderful collection of stories, proverbs, and legends that reveal a far different way of knowing the world than western societies usually follow. But their love of ambiguity and allegory in order to understand reality is far closer to the manner of Jesus’ parables than to first-world cultural understandings today.

Different cultural and world views affect the way that westerners and Africans interpret the Bible, and we can learn from each other. In many ways the less industrial and more agrarian world of West Africa renders its peoples closer to the original speakers and hearers of the biblical period. We can certainly learn much from their appreciation of the power of parable in their cultural experience.

This is a valuable religious, cultural and anthropological study of the way African interpretations of life and of language can give us an additional insight into the meaning of biblical parables – a double focus instead of a narrowly one-sided vision.

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