Reading tu’a-wise (Tongan lau faka-tu’a) is an attempt to interpret the Bible based on Tongan cultural resources and social arrangements, through the “eye-/I-s” of a Tongan commoner (tu’a). Lau faka-tu’a emphasizes contextualizing the task of biblical interpretation rather than contextualizing the Bible per se. Contextualizing interpretation uses contextual or specifically indigenous categories of analysis, while contextualizing the Bible applies the insights from one’s reading to one’s situation. Lau faka-tu’a offers “an-other,” uniquely Oceanic, way of reading. The volume engages critically with existing literature on contextual biblical interpretation and existing interpretations of the chosen text, Ezra 9–10, and aims at making biblical interpretation practice-based, nonelitist, noncontinental, transparent, and accountable.
Nasili Vaka’uta is Lecturer in Biblical Studies (Hebrew Bible/Old Testament) at Trinity Methodist Theological College and the School of Theology, University of Auckland. He is an ordained minister of the Free Wesleyan Church of Tonga in full connection with the Methodist Church of New Zealand.
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