Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - SCU Access Only


Santa Clara : Santa Clara University, 2020.

Degree Name

Licentiate in Sacred Theology (STL)


Jean-François Racine


Spurred on by my Cameroonian experience of the worrisome challenges of sociological diversity and inspired by the inherent prospects of narrative criticism, I have used the defamiliarized story of Acts 6:1-7 to reframe the Anglophone Problem in Cameroon. Essentially this meant suspending, twisting, and turning both stories upside down so as to substitute a new, unfamiliar frame of reference for these familiar narratives. In this way, it became meaningful to juxtapose the Biblical story and the contemporary story with the former shedding light on the latter and the latter enfleshing the former. The decision itself to embark on defamiliarization flowed from my conviction that how one reads a story is as important as – and indeed decisive for – what one reads in the story. Thus, through this narrative critical method, I have attempted to provoke a new and renewed interest in these familiar stories through the narrative critical technique of defamiliarization.

As a consequence, I was able to reach the conclusion that ignoring differences which do make a difference is a callous indifference that is not without dire This conclusion has been reached, firstly, because the sociological differences between different segments of the population account for the existence of the rift both in the Acts 6:1-7 tale and in the Cameroonian society. Secondly, it has been reached because after substituting a new, unfamiliar frame of reference for this familiar Acts 6:1-7 story, it became clear that something substantial of the narrative is lost by inattentiveness to these little but crucial clues that make a difference in the overall appreciation of the story. It is the same with the tale of the Anglophone Problem whose rough edges and provocatively disturbing nature that is smoothened by habituation get restored through this different reading. Thirdly, the conclusion has been reached because it was the prompt handling of the sociological difference in the Bible story that kept the situation under control while it is its poor handling in Cameroon that is setting the country ablaze.

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