Florencio Segura: Communicating Quechua Evangelical Theology Via Hymnody in Southern Peru
Chapman, Deborah H
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Florencio Segura, bilingual in Spanish and Quechua languages, belonged to the Andean culture of southern Peru spanning most of the 20th century. A convert to evangelical Christianity, Segura chose to identify with the Quechua world. The inculturation of the Bible into his Quechua milieu, interpreted from an evangelical perspective, was in large part due to his work. He used his own original hymns to teach the message in an oral culture, drawing on a rich legacy of traditions. He recognised that sung theology was the quickest way for the Quechua to incorporate a heart theology into their evangelical communities. The thesis focuses on Segura and his hymnody. It examines the man in his culture, his appropriation of that culture and his dismissal of certain areas of it, his use of Quechua including his interpolation of Spanish, and his teaching methods. It is a thesis about missiological communication and the medium of hymns as interpreters in that process. Chapter one examines how the Quechuas view their world in order to give the cultural framework for Segura’s biblical interpretation via hymns. Chapter two reviews the historical framework that influenced Segura - particularly the role of evangelical missionaries and the reasons for his commitment to evangelical rather than Roman Catholic Christianity. Chapter three undertakes an examination of Segura’s use of the biblical narrative, comparing and contrasting it with parallel literature in the Inca and Roman Catholic tradition and analysing the theology of the hymnody. The focus on the content of Segura’s hymnody allows the conclusion to reflect on the theological significance of Segura’s work and its implications for the continuing development of Andean hymnody.