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Kapali Lyons

After receiving my PhD in Near Eastern Languages and Literature at UCLA, I worked for over 25 years outside of academia as a software engineer, although I remained active in scholarship, particularly in Hawaiian language and literature. In 2010 I accepted a tenure track position at the University of Hawaiʻi (Mānoa) where I teach biblical literature (Old Testament, New Testament, Life of Jesus, apocalyptic literature), Hawaiian religion and literature, and  offer courses and tutorials in various languages (Ancient Greek, Hebrew, Aramaic, Classical Arabic, and Hawaiian). My earlier research focused on the Gospels in Syriac, a dialect of Aramaic once used throughout much of the ancient Near East, but now work primarily in 19th century Hawaiian language and literature, particularly in connection to the coming of Christianity to Hawaiʻi and the Pacific. The collision of two radically different cultures and world views (Polynesian and Euro-American) produced a remarkable and vibrant society that poured forth a voluminous literature, largely unknown to the outside world. My work in this literature focuses on the translation of the Bible from the biblical languages into Hawaiian) and Native writers who grew up under the traditional, pre-Christian culture (prior to 1820), and then, having received a western education, wrote extensively about the life of kānaka both before and after the adoption of Christianity.

Sakamaki Hall A-307

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