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Fragile Dignity: Intercontextual Conversations on Scriptures, Family, and Violence
L. Juliana Claassens, Klaas Spronk
SemeiaSt 72
Publication Date
October 2013


Human dignity insists that every human deserves respect and a safe place to live. For many, this is not a reality. The essays collected here analyze the background of this problem in contemporary family life and society at large, with special emphasis on the role of women and on the Bible as a source of inspiration and transformation. The collection is the product of a six-year conversation on family, violence, and human dignity between the Protestant Theological University in Kampen, The Netherlands, and the Faculty of Theology at Stellenbosch University, South Africa, a North-South dialogue that included annual conferences, a series of responsive letters, and additional external responses. The contributors are Cheryl B. Anderson, Hendrik Bosman, Gerrit Brand, Athalya Brenner, L. Juliana Claassens, Dorothea Erbele-Küster, Leo J. Koffeman, Frits de Lange, Monica Jyotsna Melanchthon, Magda Misset-van de Weg, Beverly Eileen Mitchell, Anne-Claire Mulder, Ian Nell, Mary-Anne Plaatjies-van Huffel, Jeremy Punt, Petruschka Schaafsma, D. Xolile Simon, Lee-Ann J. Simon, Gé Speelman, Klaas Spronk, Ciska Stark, Elsa Tamez, Charlene van der Walt, Robert Vosloo, and Yusef Waghid.

L. Juliana Claassens is Associate Professor of Old Testament in the Faculty of Theology at Stellenbosch University. Her research and teaching interests include gender and the Bible, theological approaches to the Bible, and postcolonial biblical interpretation. She is the author of Mourner, Mother, Midwife: Reimagining God’s Liberating Presence (Westminster John Knox) and co-editor of Sacred Selves: Essays on Gender, Popular Culture and Religion (Griffel) and Inclusion Matters: Essays on Theology, Disability and Human Dignity (SunMedia).

Klaas Spronk is Professor of Old Testament at the Protestant Theological University in Amsterdam. He has published articles on Ugaritic literature and on biblical theology, with special attention to the problems of religion and violence. He is the co-editor of Images of Enmity and Hope: The Transformative Power of Religion in Conflicts (LIT Verlag).

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