Decolonising Biblical Trauma Studies: The Metaphorical Name Shear-jashub in Isaiah 7:3ff Read Through a Postcolonial South African Perspective

  • Liza Esterhuizen Research associate at the University of Pretoria
Keywords: Trauma, Isaiah, Biblical trauma, Children, postcolonial studies, Decolonising


Anyone reading the Bible will attest that Biblical scriptures preserve a collection of struggles, trauma, and hardship in their ancient communities - the same trauma markers that many South Africans can attest to. On the same continuum, anyone who is reading the book of Isaiah, are confronted with not only a difficult book but also a difficult prophet. Isaiah did not in Isaiah 7:3ff only address his prophetic utterances at the King as an individual, but also at the people of Judah as a collective group and he did so through the metaphorical name-giving of his son “Shear-jashub.” The fear of imperialism and oppression was a reality, as it would later be in apartheid South Africa. The reading of Isaiah 7:3ff from a postcolonial perspective aims to provide a decolonised biblical trauma lens that would create an understanding of a decolonised reader in a postcolonial South Africa.

Author Biography

Liza Esterhuizen, Research associate at the University of Pretoria
Research associate - University of Pretoria


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