Decolonization through unsettling Scripture

June 27, 2018 | Artbeat | Volume 22 Issue 14
Nicolien Klassen-Wiebe, Manitoba Correspondent
Steve Heinrichs, holding the microphone, speaks during a panel discussion at the launch of Unsettling the Word: Biblical Experiments in Decolonization at Canadian Mennonite University on May 24. (Photo by Nicolien Klassen-Wiebe)

Mennonite Church Canada recently released Unsettling the Word: Biblical Experiments in Decolonization, the latest of several publications that explore reconciliation and Indigenous-settler relationships.

The book, edited by Steve Heinrichs and illustrated by Jonathan Dyck, is a collaboration of more than 60 contributors who engage with the Bible in a new way to confront Christianity’s role in colonialism.

“We need to be honest with the violent parts of our tradition and name that . . . and at the same time we need to lift up the amazing traditions that are there that can lead us in liberating paths,” says Heinrichs, MC Canada’s director of Indigenous-settler Relations.

The book launch was held at the Marpeck Commons at Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) on May 24, 2018. Sheila Klassen-Wiebe, associate professor of New Testament at CMU and a contributor to the book, and Arlyn Friesen Epp, director of CommonWord, moderated a panel dialogue with Heinrichs, Dyck and contributors Leah Gazan, Anita Keith and Vivian Ketchum, who also shared their writing and answered audience questions.

Prints of the linocuts featured in the book were for sale at the event, with all proceeds going to Coast Protectors, a group working to fight pipelines and protect B.C.’s waters. The book is available for purchase at CommonWord and online at commonword.ca.

Watch the video of the event here.

 

Steve Heinrichs, holding the microphone, speaks during a panel discussion at the launch of Unsettling the Word: Biblical Experiments in Decolonization at Canadian Mennonite University on May 24. (Photo by Nicolien Klassen-Wiebe)

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