Hybridity as Given and Gift: Macao and Samaria
Chin Hei Leong
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For some decades, postcolonialism has offered valuable new interpretations of the biblical text. One of them, however, Homi K. Bhabha’s theory of hybridity has not gained popularity among biblical interpreters. This theory holds that, in colonial relationship, the colonized are not solely passive, forced to act and become like the colonizer, but at the same time, the former retain their own identity, differentiating themselves from the latter. And hybridity is engendered in this process. To situate the discussion of hybridity within the deuteronomistic theological framework seems difficult. Nevertheless, this paper tries to demonstrate otherwise. It examines the high degree of my place of origin, i.e., Macao, which has been reintegrated to the People’s Republic of China in 1999 from Portuguese colonial rule. In the first part of this paper, it briefly discusses Bhabha’s theory of hybridity in postcolonial context. In the second part, it reviews the political and religio-cultural hybridity in Macao. In the third part, it proceeds to read 2 Kings 17 in light of Bhabha’s theory of hybridity. Insights gained from this part bring the readers back to the hybridity of Macao, and demonstrate an alternative way, other that the one provided by the Deuteronomists, to better appreciate religious syncretism from a biblical perspective.

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