Thursday, July 9, 2009

OIA! Interview with Dr. Gosnell Yorke: People, the Bible, Social Control, Liberation

OIA! recently had the chance to sit down with Dr. Gosnell Yorke to talk to him about what he studies: the Bible. Dr. Yorke is Dean of Graduate Studies and Professor of Religion at Northern Caribbean University, and was able to share many insights with us about his work, his life, the Bible, and the world.

Please find a brief summary of some of the themes discussed in the interview following this paragraph. Below that, please find two embedded soundclips - one contains out interview with Dr. Yorke, and one contains a speech he gave at the 4th International Conference on Education, Labor, and Social Emancipation. Finally, please scroll to the bottom of the post to see what questions were asked of Dr. Yorke during the interview. Thank you!!

To listen to other interviews we have conducted, click HERE!!


Dr. Yorke studies the Bible's relationship to language, to colonialism and social control, and to the liberation of peoples. One example he gives in his interview is that the Bible was used to justify the apartheid regime in South Africa, and then when the Council of Churches later denounced apartheid as being heretical, this aided in the collapse of the apartheid regime. Dr. Yorke also studies the relationship between the Bible, the African people, and the African diaspora - where in the Bible are black people represented? Where is Africa in the Bible? He discusses how in the Bible, the Garden of Eden is supposed to be located within the borders of four rivers, and that two of those rivers are likely to be branches of the Nile River in Egypt. We conclude the interview with a discussion on the meaning of an Obama Presidency to Dr. Yorke, and how he sees the Obama Presidency as impacting the world and black and Afro-descendant peoples around the world.

[To hear the full interview and lecture, please click on the link below the sound box to connect to the site that contains the full sound clips. Thank you!!]

Interview with Dr. Gosnell Yorke - Obama IS America!

Yorke Lecture - Obama IS America!


1. Can you briefly provide us with some background on what you study and how it is relevant to the everyday person's life?

2. Why did you choose the Bible as the focus of your work?

3. Can you discuss the dichotomy of the Bible as being both oppressive and liberating?

4. Do you think that religion has played a role in the War on Terror? If so, what?

5. What does President Obama's election mean to you?

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