- LUCAS / LAHRI Virtual Research Fellow
- Arts Humanities and Cultures
- LAHRI & LUCAS
Dr Robert Kuloba Wabyanga is Associate Professor in the Department of Religious Studies and Philosophy, Kyambogo University, Uganda.
Whilst a Virtual Fellow at Leeds he will be working on his research project 'Afro-biblical reading of Genesis 2-3 in response to climate change.' Robert is mentored at Leeds by Professor Johanna Stiebert (School of Philosphy, Religion and History of Science).
The project is an Afro-biblical reading of Genesis 2-3 in response to contemporary global environmental crises. It brings African spiritual sensitivities to the environment into a tête-à-tête relationship with Genesis 2-3. To Africans nature is divine; trees, animals, bodies of water, land: all embody and communicate divine powers. This is mirrored in Genesis 2-3 where we find sacred trees, creatures that speak with knowledge of God’s secrets, powerful bodies of water with life-giving force, and human responsibilities and duties to creation in maintaining spiritual equilibrium. Careless and greedy exploitation of nature causes spiritual disequilibrium (sin)—resulting in either the divine-nature withholding blessings of life or unleashing punishments in the form of calamities (famine, pests, diseases and pandemics, floods, drought and poor production in animal and crop husbandry). In inserting and imposing their spiritual ideas on the Bible, Africans reinscribe meaning and function in biblical texts, thereby producing distinctive theologies and ideologies.
The questions investigated are: how does African spirituality inform readership of Genesis 2-3? What is the significance of Afro-biblical reading in articulating the problem of climate change? The design of the study is multifaceted, encompassing archival research, ethnography/collaborative contextual Bible readings, and qualitative analysis. It will combine careful scholarship of Afro-biblical research on Genesis 2-3, as well as of nature, climate change and environmental theology with contextual Bible study.