Since the mid 90's two South African friends, Jonathan Draper and Gerald West
from the University KwaZulu-Natal in Pietermaritzburg have had a significant impact on me personally and on Tierra Nueva and The People's Seminary
Gerald West is Professor of Old Testament and founder of the Ujamaa Centre, which serves local churches and communities, particularly the poor and marginalized, in their own contexts and in their own languages with biblical and theological resources for social transformation.
books The Academy of the Poor
: Towards a Dialogical Study of the Bible, Pietermaritzburg: Cluster Publications
, 2003, Contextual Bible Study , Pietermaritzburg: Cluster Publications
, 1993, and The Biblical Hermeneutics of Liberation, Maryknoll: Orbis, 1996 are essential reads for anyone interested in reading the Bible in ways that bring liberation to the poor.
Visit the Ujamaa Centre
website at http://www.sorat.ukzn.ac.za/ujamaa and the University of KwaZulu-Natal site at: http://www.sorat.ukzn.ac.za/theology/default.htm
Jonathan and Gerald have both visited and taught at The People's Seminary on several occasions.
There I shared on my book Reading the Bible with the Damned with faculty at the University and joined Gerald
in teaching a day-long seminar to leaders educating people about HIV/AIDS entitled "Jesus and Masculinity."