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Global Hermeneutics?

September 2010
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Several books are now being published on the Internet; some of them are first published in paper, and then digitalized and published on the net.
What we might expect in the future is that Internet-publishing will be used more and more; some works will be published on the Internet, and not on paper, and some in both ways. The book I would like to point your attention to is one of those that is only published on  the net. If you want a paper version for yourself, you will have to print it out:

Knut Holter & Louis C. Jonker (eds.), Global Hermeneutics? Reflections and Consequences.
SBL International Voices in Biblical Studies No 1. Society of Biblical Literature, Atlanta, Ga. 2010.

Several things might be said about this publication: First it is not a publication that take full advantage of publishing on the Internet. It is not a truly digitalized WWW version as it is simply a pdf version of what otherwise looks like a printed book version. It this case this means that there are just a few (5 or 6) hyper-links in the file. Just a simple .pdf file.
On the other hand, that being said, if the purpose is to make a publication assessable around the world in a speedy and cheap way this is achieved with this version too. This sems indeed to be  some of the intentions behind this publication.

The volume has the following contributions:
PART I: CONTEXT
GEOGRAPHICAL AND INSTITUTIONAL ASPECTS OF GLOBAL OLD TESTAMENT
STUDIES
Knut Holter ………………………………………………………………………………………………..3

PART II: CASE STUDIES
HERMENEUTICAL PERSPECTIVES ON VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND ON
DIVINE VIOLENCE IN GERMAN-SPEAKING OLD TESTAMENT EXEGESIS
Gerlinde Baumann …………………………………………………………………………………….17
LAND IN THE OLD TESTAMENT: HERMENEUTICS FROM LATIN AMERICA
Roy H. May, Jr. …………………………………………………………………………………………25
READING THE OLD TESTAMENT FROM A NIGERIAN BACKGROUND: A WOMAN’S
PERSPECTIVE
Mary Jerome Obiorah ………………………………………………………………………………..35

PART III: CONSEQUENCES
THE GLOBAL CONTEXT AND ITS CONSEQUENCES FOR OLD TESTAMENT
INTERPRETATION
Louis C. Jonker …………………………………………………………………………………………47
THE GLOBAL CONTEXT AND ITS CONSEQUENCES FOR OLD TESTAMENT
TRANSLATION
Aloo Mojola ……………………………………………………………………………………………..57

PART IV: AFTERWORD
WHEN BIBLICAL SCHOLARS TALK ABOUT “GLOBAL” BIBLICAL INTERPRETATION
Knut Holter ………………………………………………………………………………………………85

In order to wet your appetite for this volume, I provide a rather extensive quote from the Introduction in the first study by prof. Knut Holter:

Academic  studies  of  the  Old  Testament—as  we  know  this  field  within  our
guild, the International Organisation for the Study of the Old Testament (IOSOT)—
are for most practical purposes a northern, theological enterprise.
First,  it  is  mainly  a  northern  enterprise,  simply  because  most  of  us  are
northerners. We  call  ourselves  an  international  guild,  and when we  interact—by
visiting each other, sending students to each other or doing research together—we
refer  to  this  as  ‘internationalisation’  in  our  annual  institutional  reports. Still,  it  is
mainly  a  northern  internationalisation,  as  most  of  us  come  from—and  therefore
express and reflect the concerns of—the North Atlantic or North Mediterranean. As
far as IOSOT is concerned, it is mainly a European organisation, as pointed out at
our  congress  in  Oslo  nine  years  ago  by  David  J.  A.  Clines.  After  a  survey  of
participants and paper readers in the IOSOT congresses between 1953 and 1998, he
concludes  that  the  organisation  will  have  to  decide  whether  to  rename  itself  a
European organisation or to take steps to become what its traditional name actually
suggests, a more representatively international organisation.

Second, academic Old Testament  studies—again, as we know  this within  the
IOSOT—are  mainly  a  theological  enterprise.  Certainly,  not  all  of  us  consider
ourselves  theologians. And our guild has members whose  institutional  framework
is not a faculty of theology, but rather faculties of arts or social sciences, with their
various  departments  of  Ancient  Near  Eastern  languages,  linguistics,  literature,
religious studies, or even biblical studies. Still, the majority of the guild members
work in institutional frameworks of theology, that is, Christian theology. This fact
explains the relatively high number of Old Testament scholars compared to that of
specialists in other classical religious texts, and it also explains why a theologically
biased  name  like  the  “International  Organisation  for  the  Study  of  the  Old
Testament” has survived up until today.

My  message  here  is  that  the  first  of  these  two  points,  the  predominantly
northern context of academic Old Testament studies, will soon be history, whereas
the  second  point,  the—institutionally  speaking—theological  context  of  academic
Old Testament studies will continue to play an important role. I will argue that we
today  are  able  to  see  how  the  two  develop  in  parallel.  In  the  same  way  as
Christianity  throughout  the  twentieth  and  twenty-first  centuries  is  gradually
becoming a religion of the Global South, so too are theological and biblical studies
gradually becoming southern academic enterprises. The consequence as  far as our
guild is concerned is that our traditional northern concepts of Old Testament studies
will eventually have to be balanced by more southern concepts, as we are heading
towards  a more  global Old Testament  studies. This was  the  rationale  behind  the
organising of a seminar on global biblical hermeneutics in the midst of a typically
northern  organisation  like  the  IOSOT. The  seminar was  divided  into  three  parts:
Contexts, Cases and Consequences. My own contribution deals with the question of
contexts,  and  it  is  an  attempt  at  discussing  some  geographical  and  institutional
aspects  of  a  new  and  global  Old  Testament  studies  in  relation  to  its  traditional
northern location.”

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