Hidden Perspectives

Bringing the Bible Out of the Closet

Ela Nutu Interview by Aysha Musa

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Can you introduce yourself to our readers and give us an idea of what you do?ela-copy

Hi. My name is Ela Nutu Hall (publishing under Ela Nutu), and my research interests focus on postmodern approaches to biblical interpretation (poststructuralist, psychoanalytical, cultural) and more recently on the Bible in art, music and literature. I also provide welfare support to students in the University residences.

What will you be doing at the Hidden Perspectives festival?

I’ll be meeting lots of new people, hopefully … and also give a paper on Tony Kushner’s Angels in America.

What is the motive behind your lecture? What do you hope people will take away from it?

The Showroom is actually showing Mike Nichols’ HBO adaption of the play, which is beautifully done. I’m hoping that those people willing to watch all SIX hours of it will truly enjoy it and that they would also feel sufficiently engaged with the topic to come and meet me, too…

The Bible and Tony Kushner’s Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes sounds really interesting, how would you explain it to someone who has not studied the Bible/Religion?

The play is not ABOUT the Bible; it’s about life, living and the will to live, about love and the idea of love, about death and the beyond. It is about pain and ecstasy, about strength and weakness, and the infuriating frustrations that we humans experience when we cannot control what happens to us. Kushner’s Angels is about many things – including encounters with angels as divine messengers – many with inevitable biblical echoes. Whether we are aware of it or not, the Bible has greatly influenced our culture for millennia, and it continues to do so …

What would you say to those who have never considered an LGBT perspective/reading of the Bible?

Nobody OWNS the Bible. Nobody OWNS the truth. We’d all be very much the poorer for not listening to each other’s views.

Have you been involved with other projects like Hidden Perspectives?

I was actually involved with the ‘Ways of Reading’ project, a collaboration between the British Library and the Lokahi Foundation … Great fun.

Why do you think projects like Hidden Perspectives are important?

Social engagement defines human culture, and within that arena everyone deserves a voice. Hidden Perspectives provides an exciting forum where ideas can be expressed, nay shared. As my grandmother used to say, ‘silence breeds monsters’.

Author: Hidden Perspectives

A research project within the Sheffield Institute for Interdisciplinary Biblical Studies (SIIBS) at The University of Sheffield.

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