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date: 24 January 2021

Abstract and Keywords

The essay surveys how Bible translations produced by modern colonial missionaries distorted African cultures and religions with special focus on the Shona people of Zimbabwe. It also explains, by focusing on the Shona translation of Genesis 1–3, how the adoption of the name of the Shona god, Mwari, into the Bible introduced foreign patriarchal notions to the Shona understanding of their god, and also a conception of gender and sexuality that promoted the marginalization of women and oppressive homophobic ideas. The essay concludes with pointing out the need to apply postcolonial feminist approach to Bible translation in order decolonize and depatriarchalize Bible translation and interpretation in Africa.

Keywords: Africa, translation, Shona, patriarchal, colonialism, Mwari, God, missionary societies, United Bible Societies, Wycliffe Global Alliance

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