Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

GLOBAL INTERPRETATIONS OF CHRISTIAN SCRIPTURES RLST 206 & DIV/REL 3845 Jan 30 2012.

Similar presentations


Presentation on theme: "GLOBAL INTERPRETATIONS OF CHRISTIAN SCRIPTURES RLST 206 & DIV/REL 3845 Jan 30 2012."— Presentation transcript:

1 GLOBAL INTERPRETATIONS OF CHRISTIAN SCRIPTURES RLST 206 & DIV/REL 3845 Jan

2 Today a) 3:10 Contemporary Models for the Interpretation of Scriptures: “LIBERATION HERMENEUTICS” b) 4:30 Group Discussion (two examples of Liberation Hermeneutics): 1 Timothy by Elsa Tamez (Costa Rica) Presenter : Nicky Hackett Leader : Alex Dahlgren Exodus by Jorge Pixley (Nicaragua) Presenter: Brian Rossbert Leader: Annie Ameha c) Postponed: Lecture: Classical Models for the Interpretation of Scriptures: Pharisaic Judaism Apocalyptic Judaism,

3 Any Interpretation of Scripture includes 3 choices Contextual --- Textual --- Religious/Hermeneutic Cultural

4 4 Types of Contextual Interpretations (a) Inculturation = priority on Cultural Context of the interpretation and interpreters (b) Liberation = priority on Concrete Life- Contexts of the interpretation/ers, from economic to ecological (c) Inter(con)textual = priority on combination of the “texts” of the Cultural and Concrete Life- Contexts of the interpretation and interpreters (d) Sacramental/Liturgical = Religious Context of the interpretation/ers

5 Text, Religious experience, Life Context = 3 choices Any interpretation of a Scriptural text involves: Choosing to focus on one aspect of the TEXT as most significant Especially in a long text as Exodus but also 1 Timothy In terms of the reader’s religious experience (or lack of it) = Hermeneutical/theological choice & of the reader’s specific concrete life context = Contextual Choice = because of concerns for a major/overall problem

6 A Correct Interpretation Must Be Legitimate, Plausible, AND Valid Textual Choice is LEGITIMATE if, and only if, you can show it is grounded in the text You cannot contradict the text; deny what is in the text Theological/hermeneutical choice is PLAUSIBLE if, and only if, it makes sense according to certain convictions/religious experiences/religious views Including a certain view of the role of Scripture = Contextual Choice is VALID (=valuable) if, and only if, it is helpful rather than hurtful;

7 Despite common views, most Interpretations by believers are Legitimate, and Plausible Because believers have much at stake; Because they live by their interpretations that clarify that a Biblical Text They make sure that their interpretation is grounded in the biblical text = legitimate and make sense from their theological-religious perspective = plausible The question: are they valid? WORD-TO- LIVE-BY

8 Czech refugees who resisted the communists: “When your life depends on it… you read very carefully, even between the lines.” (mentioned last weeK)

9 Despite common views, most Interpretations by believers are Legitimate and Plausible As long as we do not recognize that other people’s interpretations Interpretations by Aborigine, African, African-American, Asian (Chinese, Filipino, Indian, Indonesian, Malaysian), Feminist, Gay and Lesbian, Latin-American, Native American, Eastern Orthodox CHRISTIAN BELIEVERS As well as interpretations by ordinary CHRISTIAN BELIEVERS in Western churches, including Fundamentalist, Charismatic and Prosperity Gospel Christian movements are as LEGITIMATE and PLAUSIBLE as those by biblical scholars It is IMPOSSIBLE to discuss with them the validity of our respective choices of interpretations

10 Not readily recognizing other people’s interpretations as Legitimate can be a basis to Claim that alone our interpretations are legitimate = condoning apartheid; being racist, colonialist, imperialist, sexist, patriarchal, homophobic, elitist, cultural chauvinist. Rather than Recognizing OUR IGNORANCE = a call to strive to understand how legitimate these are = to recognize the text features they view as most significant and that we ignore

11 Not readily recognizing other people’s interpretations as Plausible can be a basis to Claim that alone our interpretations are plausible = condoning apartheid; being racist, colonialist, imperialist, sexist, patriarchal, homophobic, elitist, cultural chauvinist. Rather than Recognizing OUR IGNORANCE = a call to strive to understand how plausible these are = how they are related to different religious experiences and cultural views

12 Respecting the interpretations of others = Reading with them When, dumb as we are, we finally understand the legitimacy and plausibility of other people’s interpretations… we truly READ WITH THEM Only then are we in a position to Discuss with them the VALIDITY for specific contexts of our respective interpretations.

13 Why study Global Interpretations of Christian Scriptures? Because by ourselves, we cannot recognize that we have made of the Bible a White American Idol White American interpretation is alone legitimate & plausible Because by ourselves, we arrogantly claim to know what the Bible means, Or claim as arrogantly that we have the critical tools to do it We need to read with others, We have something to learn from them precisely because their readings are different. The Contributors of the Global Bible Commentary invite us to read with them

14 Oh, I forgot Quiz

15 a major/overall problem Since Christian Scriptures are "word to live by" for Christian believers, they (and we, including scholars) necessarily interpret two things the biblical text, of course; Necessary because there are a plurality of potential meanings in each text; but also the readers’ [our!] own life context & the major/overall problem it confronts us with Also necessary because there are a plurality of potential major/overall problems in each context

16 a major/overall problem A1. Concrete Life-context and problem that Christian believers could address with a teaching from this text WHAT IS THE CONCRETE PROBLEM? B ANALYZING THE PROBLEM Christian Believers need to address IN TODAY’S CONTEXT according to you, B1. Primary aspect of the believers’ life where this major/overall PROBLEM is particularly located A) private life? B) family-life? C) Christian Community? D) society? E) culture (with its vision of life, values, ideologies)? F) relationship with people with different religious convictions? What is the major/overall Problem that confronts all aspects of believers/church’s life in the present world?

17 Root-Problem = B2. What is the primary ROOT-PROBLEM that needs to be addressed A) A lack of (wrong) KNOWLEDGE? B) A lack of (wrong) ABILITY? C) A lack of (wrong) WILL? D) A lack of (wrong) FAITH/VISION or IDEOLOGY? You need to ask: What is the major/overall problem that confronts Christian believers in the world today?

18 Ukpong’s major/overall problem Concrete Life-context = the church in Nigeria; Concrete problem in it: Nigerian Christians alienated from their African cultures by a misconstrued practice (and understanding) of "mission" (the THEME). It affects PRIMARILY “relationships with people with different religious convictions”(and “mission”) [although also education, the place and role of women in the church, church and politics, and ultimately “private life” major/overall Problem for Christians in the contemporary world: "colonialism; "cultural imperialism" = failure to recognize that the Christian message is always "inculturated" results in imposing one's own culture upon other people when one shares the gospel with them. wrong ideology

19 SEE FORM B1 Primary aspects of the believer’s life where there is a problem? B2 Root-Problem B3 ROLES OF SCRIPTURE

20 Liberation Interpretations = Explicit Contextual/validity claim Focus: Interpretive Contextual Choices Ethical/moral test: Loving Neighbor How is this text helpful in a specific life- context? Yet, involves a particular Theological- hermeneutical choices: Plausibility claim based on plurality of roles of Scripture; Choosing the Role of Scripture as corrective lenses Then other theological concepts.

21 Liberation Interpretations… What is the problem? What is Sin? The Contextual Problem? Concrete issues (place of women in churches; poverty) Root-problem. Lack of/Wrong Knowledge; Will; Ability Faith/Vision or Ideology At first, it is difficult to distinguish (lack of/wrong) KNOWLEDGE vs. IDEOLOGY

22 Liberation Interpretations… Theologically: What is Sin? Sins (Major/Overall Problem) include Sins of omissions … not knowing that one sinned, because one did not KNOW what we needed to do. Deliberate sins: WILLful transgression of God’s will; WILLful acts against other people around us Sin is often primarily systemic : IDEOLOGICAL = we participate in a sinful system, in a sinful community; in a sinful society, without noticing it, because we share in the ideology of this society And this sinful ideology can be based on a wrong faith = an IDOLATRY

23 Corrective Glasses Family Album Holy Bible Empowering word Corrective Glasses Rule of the Community Good News Lamp to my Feet Rule of community KnowledgeWill Faith, vision, Ideology Ability

24 Bartolomé de Las Casas, ( )

25 Las Casas traveled to Hispaniola (1502), witnessing much Spanish brutality against the “Indians.” He wrote in 1561, "There were 60,000 people living on this island (when I arrived in 1508), including the Indians; so that from 1494 to 1508, over 3,000,000 people had perished from war, slavery, and the mines. Who in future generations will believe this?" Some think that las Casas, who in general was a meticulous writer, may have exaggerated the Taíno death-toll. Yet a consensus estimate is nevertheless about 1,000,000. By 1531, Taíno [Arawak] population was down to 600. From 1,000,000 to 600 in 40 years ( )

26 From 1,000,000 to 600 Tainos in 40 years Why? The Spaniards brought foreign diseases, like smallpox, against which the Taínos had no immunity. The Taínos were enslaved by the Spaniards and worked to death in the mines and plantations (Revolts against forced labor, merciless killing) The encomienda system (forced labor and tribute, in return for protection and instruction in the Christian faith). Las Casas recognized the sin of oppressing the “Indians” and even the systemic evil of colonizing Taínos. BUT failed in his analysis and actions.

27 What is the overall problem? What is Sin? the systemic sin; systemic evil of colonizing the sin of oppressing the “Indians” = using others for our own benefits Not necessarily personal benefits; benefits for one’s family, country, society Economic Problem … we need to keep up our life-standard… whatever the cost to other peoples Power Problem … we can do it, because we are more powerful ROOT PROBLEM: IDEOLOGICAL problem: We are superior to others Better culture or education Others do not know better; cannot do more than being servants; Others are barbarians Better Race – other people are “inferior”; are not really human; do not have a soul;

28 Systemic evil of colonizing as Ideological Problem Not a self-conscious issue It is simply the way things are The normal way of life = a way of behaving Normal way of behaving = as everybody does E.g., Peer pressure People are caught into the evil system = need to be liberated from it Not from evil individuals But from an evil system….. From Concrete brutal oppression and exploitation Victimization From the convictions that drive them to exploit others

29 Ideology “Ideology is a ‘Representation’ of the Imaginary Relationship of Individuals to their Real Conditions of Existence” Louis Althusser, Essays on Ideology (London: Verson, 1984), A representation that is shared by a group or society A representation that provides the framework for life in particular contexts for individuals, groups. and entire society And which appears to be simply the normal or natural condition of existence. A representation that empowers people to control their lives in concrete situations

30 Bartolomé de Las Casas, ( )

31 How does one challenge systemic evil?……. Bartolomé de Las Casas Tried to challenge this ideological power By preaching against the “cruelty” and “depravity of Spaniards” As if it was a problem of the WILL (evil Individuals) Or as if it was a problem of KNOWLEDGE (people do not know the facts). Huge debate: are “Indians” human beings with a soul? By writing books denouncing Spaniards’ cruelty: The Devastation of the Indies; The Only Way of Drawing All Peoples to the True Religion (about peaceful evangelization of the Indians); In Defense of the Indians; History of the Indies. By trying to create a counter-colony– a “benign colony” (Venezuela, ) to rescue the “Indians” from the Spanish settlers. But to protect “Indians” he did not oppose bringing slaves from Africa = not seeing the “ideological problem”

32 How does one challenge systemic evil?……. With the help of Scripture Not by looking for a moral teaching – Scripture as Lamp to my Feet as if the problem was not knowing what is good to do. Not by looking for incentives 1) [-] as warning against bad behavior -- Scripture as Law Rule of the Community; Canon (obey “or else”!) or 2) [+] as “good news” of God’s love As if the problem was not willing to do good

33 Corrective Glasses Family Album Holy Bible Empowering word Corrective Glasses Rule of the Community Good News Lamp to my Feet Rule of community KnowledgeWill Faith, vision, Ideology Ability

34 Liberation Interpretations: Theological- Hermeneutical Choice Scripture as CORRECTIVE GLASSES as PROPHECY= Helping us see what others cannot or will not see … including fulfillments of promises Not lamp to my feet (in the usual sense of looking for guidance for my life; individual moral teaching) Not Law/Rule of the Community/Canon or Good News Not Covenant/Family album (establishing our identity as members of the Chosen People of God and how to relate to others) = Looking at our Life-Context (= what is in front of us; others around us, etc) through the scriptural text = Seeing our context with new eyes Looking for stars in the four cardinal points (Elsa Tamez)

35 Liberation Interpretations: Theological- Hermeneutical Choice With Scripture, “search for stars in the four cardinal points. Search for them in the house, in the street, in institutions and organizations, within [your]self, and in the other.” (Elsa Tamez, 6, in Dietrich & Luz, ed. The Bible in a World Context) For Tamez Scripture is no longer a “moral teaching” providing a sense of direction (= “lamp to my feet”), but is a “lantern” = Scripture as corrective glasses Then she struggles with the metaphor “lantern” when text does not give light … so I prefer a different metaphor This means rejecting/bracketing out Scripture as Lamp to my Feet, Law/Rule of the Community, and also as Good News

36 Roles of Scripture for Tamez’s Context Relevant Scripture as -LANTERN (Tamez; allowing us to see what is in front of us in the dark night) -CORRECTIVE GLASSES {Faith/Vision of what God does against evil powers/systems} USELESS Scripture as -Lamp to my Feet -Rule of the Community Canon or Law {Moral teaching: K & W = knowledge and will} -Good News {K & W)

37 Costa Rica

38 Elsa Tamez, Costa Rica

39 Elsa Tamez, on 1 Timothy & James

40 Elsa Tamez, Liberation Interpretation What are… Her Contextual Choices? And its validity (loving neighbor) Her Theological-Hermeneutical Choices? And its plausibility (loving God) Her Textual Choices? And its legitimacy (faithfulness to the text)

41 Costa Rica Economy (CIA World Factbook) Pop: 4,133,884 (July 2007 est.) white (including mestizo) 94%, black 3%, Amerindian 1%, Chinese 1%, other 1% Costa Rica's basically stable economy depends on tourism, agriculture, and electronics exports. Poverty has remained at roughly 20% for nearly 20 years, the strong social safety net that had been put into place by the government has eroded due to increased financial constraints on government expenditures. GDP - per capita $13,500 (2007 est.) USA GDP - per capita:- $36,300 (2001 est.) Population below poverty line: 18% (2004 est.) USA 13%

42 Nicaragua

43 Jorge Pixley Nicaragua

44 Nicaragua: Economy (CIA World Factbook) Pop: 5,675,356 (July 2007 est.) mestizo (mixed Amerindian and white) 69%, white 17%, black 9%, Amerindian 5% Nicaragua has widespread underemployment, one of the highest degrees of income inequality in the world, GDP - per capita $3,200 (2007 est.) USA GDP - per capita:- $36,300 (2001 est.) Unemployment 5.6% plus underemployment of 46.5% (2007 est.) Population below poverty line: 48% (2005) USA: 13% Rely on international economic assistance to meet fiscal and debt financing obligations. the IMF approved a new poverty reduction and growth facility (PRGF) program

45 Group 2: EXODUS by Jorge Pixley (Nicaragua) Presenter of GBC : Brian Rossbert Leader: Annie Ameha Respondent : Walisha Bland With Chanel Baker, Julia Rushing, George Greene, Brenda Kao, Brittany Melvin, Shawn Kahler, Kathryn Biddle

46 Group 1: 1 TIMOTHY by Elsa Tamez (Costa Rica) Presenter of GBC : Nicky Hackett Leader: Alexandra Dahlgren Respondent to Leader : Julie Carli With Samantha Hesley, Brendan Matthews, Courtney Dresher; Zachary King, Michael Durham, Alison Stuhl, Miladys Pérez

47 Why study Global Interpretations of Scriptures? Kasane, Botswana, 1999

48 After each mini-sermon, everyone is praying aloud

49 Pray For Me, So that I May…

50 Pray For Me, So that I May Better Understand the Scriptures


Download ppt "GLOBAL INTERPRETATIONS OF CHRISTIAN SCRIPTURES RLST 206 & DIV/REL 3845 Jan 30 2012."

Similar presentations


Ads by Google