Whitney Muller

Project title: Communities in conversation: Social identity of the Matthean community in light of South African Coloured Communities. (National Identity)

2022-2023: Master of Theology New Testament (thesis), Faculty of Theology, Stellenbosch University

2018-2021: Bachelors of Divinity IV, Stellenbosch University

2020: Global Citizen Short Course, Stellenbosch University

2022: International Exchange Short Course, Stellenbosch University

2016-2018: IT Technical Support Training Ceritificate

South Africa is a deeply religious context where religious knowledge is a normative element of public deliberation. Communities in this context have tried and are constantly trying to understand their identity in light of inheritors of the Bible, descendants of a colonial past, and victims of neo-colonial empires. Our religious self-identification and history inform the hybridity of identities in our contexts. We can see ourselves in the Matthean community as they navigate the treacherous waters of identity formation and intergroup interactions, learning from and dialoguing with our authoritative texts complexly. Similarly, modern, indigenous communities can see the Matthean community reflected in themselves: wrestling with individual, intergroup, and intragroup identities, as the ancient community did, and subjected to a history and a reality of imperial contexts, negotiating, and engaging in ongoing conversations. Religious texts like the Gospel of Matthew, viewed as normative and sacred, inform the morality of many communities and can help inform our contributions to national discourses around identity politics and power dynamics that are responsible, complex, and humane.