Power and Conflict Management: The Joban-God Talk

  • R S Wafula Luther College, Decorah Iowa
Keywords: power, imperialism, postcolonial, Resistance, conflcit, resolution


Sara Cobb begins her book, Speaking of Violence by stating that ââ¬Åstories matter. They have gravitas; they are grave. They have weight. They are concrete. They materialize policies, institutions, relationships, and identities.ââ¬Â[1] Applied to the book of Job 1ââ¬â2, one can ask, how grave is the story of Job? What conflict does it create? What is at stake in this conflict? What does the story concretize? In this paper I point out that there are two narrative approaches to reading Job's conflict with God. One is that Job does not resist divine power and the other is that he does. If we take it that job does not resist divine power, we implicitly begin fostering stories that can create docility/passivity in the face of imperial power. If we argue that he resists divine power, we create stories that enable people to stand up for their freedoms/rights, hence fostering the idea that conflict cannot be solved by docility but by confronting the powers-that-be, which create conflicts in the first place. In this paper, I argue for the later position.

[1] Sara Cobb, Speaking of Violence: The Politics and Poetics of Narrative in Conflict Resolution (Oxford and New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2013), 3.

Author Biography

R S Wafula, Luther College, Decorah Iowa

Visiting Assistant Professor of Religion, Luther College, Decorah, Iowa.

PhD, Hebrew Bibe

Author of:

1. Biblical Representations of Moab: A Kenyan Postcolonial Reading

2. "'I am What You Are Not!' A Critical Postcolonial Reading of the Africa Bible Commentary's Ab raham-Lot Stories" in Postcolonial Perspectives in African Biblical Interpretations.