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Global Hermeneutics? Reflections and Consequences
Knut Holter, Louis C. Jonker
Publication Date
June 2011


A collection of essays from the International Cooperation Initiative of the Society of Biblical Literature

This first volume in the International Voices in Biblical Studies series stimulates and facilitates a global hermeneutic in which centers and margins fade. The collection explores the global context within which biblical studies and interpretation take place, includes three case studies from different regions, and reflections on the consequences of global hermeneutics on biblical interpretation and on translation.


  • Case studies from different regions
  • Essays explore both the positive and negative aspects of globalization
  • Seven essays represent scholarship from Africa and Latin America
  • “This volume raises some of the key questions facing not only Old Testament Studies but biblical studies generally at the present time as the contexts for interpretation are becoming many and varied. The volume seeks to hold them in dialogue while making space for new voices to be heard and for these to be available to the world of biblical scholarship generally. I hope that what has been begun here will continue in ways that will enable many more voices to be heard and to be brought into the dialogue.”
    — Elaine Wainwright, Richard Maclaurin Goodfellow Professor in Theology and Head of School, School of Theology, University of Auckland

    “This collection of essays demonstrates and reflects on two important dimensions of globalisation. First, biblical scholarship is global in the sense that there is now a widely distributed array of communities who read and reflect on the Bible. Biblical studies is no longer a western project. Second, and in some tension with the first, biblical scholarship is global in the sense that across its contextual diversity there are marked similarities, deriving largely from the enduring impact of the 'western' biblical studies heritage, perpetuated in part by the 'canonical' scholarly books that are found in our libraries. But there is also a third dimension of the global that this collection celebrates, namely the determination of biblical scholars from every part of the globe to engage with each other. And it is this third form that will determine the shape of our discipline, wherever we are located.”
    — Gerald West, Professor of Old Testament and Biblical Hermeneutics, School of Religion and Theology, University of KwaZulu-Natal

    Knut Holter is Professor of Old Testament Studies at the School of Mission and Theology in Stavanger, Norway, and Extraordinary Professor at the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa. He is the author of Yahweh in Africa (Peter Lang), Old Testament Research for Africa (Peter Lang), Contextualized Old Testament Scholarship in Africa (Acton) and the editor of Let My People Stay! Researching the Old Testament in Africa (Acton).

    Louis C. Jonker is Associate Professor of Old Testament in the Faculty of Theology at the University of Stellenbosch. He is the author of Exclusivity and Variety: Perspectives on Multidimensional Exegesis (Kok Pharos) and Josiah in the Chronicler's Mirror: Late Stages of the Josiah Reception in II Chr 34f (Gütersloher) and co-editor of “From Ebla to Stellenbosch”: Syro-Palestinian Religions and the Hebrew Bible (Harrassowitz).

    Click here for the volume front matter, including the table of contents and introduction.

    Click here for a printable publication sheet that you can put in your files or give to your librarian or bookstore.