“I have written this book in response to an invitation of my mentors, The Rainbow Spirit Elders, who wrote, ‘Abraham, the peacemaker, respected the peoples of the land. We ask the same. Abraham recognised the God of the land. We ask the same. Abraham and the peoples of the land shared mutual blessings. We ask the same.’ (Rainbow Spirit Theology 1997, p. 85)
My goal in this book is to follow the Abraham trail through the legends of Genesis and beyond so as to retrieve, where possible, how Abraham related to the indigenous Canaanites, their God and their land. What I believe I have retrieved provides a precedent for settlers who have dispossessed the land and discounted the faith of the Aboriginal Peoples where they settled.
In the light of the Abraham precedent and subsequent colonial history, it is time to go beyond making another apology and make a formal acknowledgement that leads to a genuine treaty process.” – Norm Habel
About the author
Susan Zerlaut King grew up in the rural community of Sitka, Michigan on the family dairy and fruit farm. She graduated from Fremont High School in 1964, received a B.A. from Central Michigan University, and an M.A. from Oakland University. She worked as a teacher for the Waterford School District for over thirty years. She is also the author of Letters Home, an anecdotal record of experiences by WWI veterans of Newaygo County.
Video: Book launch
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Prof Mark Brett’s and Dr Norman Habel’s addresses to launch Dr Habel’s book which links indigenous rights with the ancient thinking and theology of the Prophet Abraham and his relationship with the Canaanite people. Recorded at the Fellowship for Biblical Studies National Conference held at the Australian Catholic University, North Sydney, on 26th September 2018.
Mark G. Brett, Professor of Old Testament, Whitley College –
In this book, one of Australia’s most distinguished elders in the field of biblical studies takes us back to the beginnings of the biblical narrative, and asks us to look again. Abraham and Sarah did not arrive in Canaan with an assertion of settler sovereignty. They were immigrants who lived peaceably among the Canaanites and respected an Indigenous name for God. If communities of faith follow Abraham’s trail today, it leads to new covenants and treaties. Norman Habel sounds a compelling call to repentance.