Dewald Jacobs

Project Title: The Samaritan Woman and Sara Baartman – A Postcolonial reading of John 4: 4-42 (National Identity)

2021: M.Div.: MDiv research: “A Postcolonial Approach to the Encounter between Jesus and the Canaanite woman in Matthew 15: 21-28 – Foregrounding
the Master’s Table”, Stellenbosch University, South Africa

2021: Global Citizen Short Course, South Africa

2020: B.Div., Stellenbosch University, South Africa

2017: Financial Accounting, Stellenbosch University, South Africa

This PhD project proposes a postcolonial biblical interpretation of the encounter between the Samaritan Woman and Jesus in John 4: 1-42. It considers this encounter as an encounter between two colonial subjects in the imperial, colonial and patriarchal context of the Roman Empire. Even though two colonial subjects are involved, this study will aim to highlight and examine the power relations and dynamics of gender, ethnicity and religion at play in this encounter. In seeking a transgressive biblical interpretation of the text that promotes liberation, transformation and interdependence, the portrayal of the Samaritan Woman will be compared with the life-story of Sara Baartman. Baartman was an indigenous Khoikhoi woman from South Africa who was subjected to the violence of the colonialist gaze of the 18th- and 19th century Dutch and British colonial context of South Africa. Both these women are considered intersectional figures who were marginalized on the bases of their gender, ethnicity, and religion. Given these power dynamics, this study will consider the positionality and identity negotiation of both women within their respective colonial contexts and highlight how a postcolonial encounter with their stories leads us to problematize the oppressive power dynamics in our contexts.