Thursday 5 June 2014

Missio Dei 5, 1 (February 2014) on Missional Hermeneutics

The current issue of Missio Dei: A Journal of Missional Theology and Praxis is devoted to Missional Hermeneutics, with main articles and abstracts as below. Individual essays are available from here, and the whole issue can be downloaded as a pdf here.

Mark Love
Missional Interpretation: The Encounter of a Holy God through a Living Text
This article reframes missional interpretation with questions about God’s identity and the nature of Scripture. The author examines the relationship between God’s holiness and the nature of Scripture as texts that correspond to God’s reality. On this basis, the author makes a case for communal reading practices that reflect the implications of God’s relationship to the text.

Greg McKinzie
Currents in Missional Hermeneutics
Recent contributions to the development of missional hermeneutics are significant, though they indicate that a great deal of unexplored territory remains. This essay offers a model for plotting current themes and emphases among missional interlocutors, on which basis the author proposes an integration of key dimensions of missional theology. In conversation with current missional hermeneutical proposals, the author then develops five theses that signal a trajectory for revisioning the hermeneutical spiral.

Derran Reese
Contesting Culture: Contextualizing Worship in Northern Thailand
Contextualization has become a central topic within missiology over recent decades. Though the conversation has progressed, most theories and practices are still based on an insufficient understanding of how cultures function. This article first argues that contextualization is not so much about the act of communication between the missionary and the local community but the faith community’s contestation of the meaning of shared cultural symbols and practices, including those elements that supposedly lead to syncretism, as they are employed in service to the triune God. The article then narrates how the author’s mission team in northern Thailand has implemented this approach to contextualization in its communal worship practices.

Sean Todd
Cultural Issues in Translation: The Thai Easy-to-Read Version
This article compares various Thai translations of the Bible and calls upon translators to pay closer attention to five aspects of culture. The author argues that not only the original meaning but also the original mood of passages should be translated. He illustrates the need to identify honor/shame passages and to translate them accordingly. He appeals to translators to avoid as much as possible insider vocabulary, including many of the specialized Thai divine/royal terms.

Yancy Smith
The Mystery and Mirage of Equivalence: Bible Translation Theory and the Practice of Christian Mission
Since the era of Eugene Nida, evangelical Bible translation has been revolutionized by his notion of dynamic or functional equivalence. Powerful theological and theoretical concerns, however, call into question its usefulness and its catholicity. This article explores and questions the usefulness of the equivalence model of translation in Christian mission from the standpoint of incarnation.

Andy Johnson
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Missional Hermeneutics Lived Out in Burkinabe Villages

James Thompson and Tommy Givens
NT Scholars Discuss Missional Hermeneutics
This discussion was originally an email exchange moderated by the editor.

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