Monday 1 June 2015

The Asbury Journal 70, 1 (2015)

The latest issue of The Asbury Journal contains several essays devoted to the theme of intercultural hermeneutics, arising out of an Advanced Research Interdisciplinary Colloquium held at the seminary last October.

Robert Danielson
From the Editor

Lalsangkima Pachuau
Intercultural Hermeneutics: A Word of Introduction
This paper introduces the theme of intercultural hermeneutics for the Advanced Research Programs interdisciplinary colloquium. By focusing on recent literature in the field of intercultural hermeneutics, this paper distinguishes this field of study from traditional cross-cultural communication and indicates its relevance to the current field of biblical studies and missiology. The importance of postcolonial studies to the field of intercultural hermeneutics is also addressed.

Craig S. Keener
Scripture and Context: An Evangelical Exploration
The first section of this paper addresses contextualization and scripture, suggesting the value of hearing texts from multiple cultural settings. The latter section offers two concrete examples where many majority world readings could help western readers to hear biblical texts more sympathetically and in ways closer to what the first audiences would have heard. In both sections, the two groups participating in the interdisciplinary colloquium – biblical studies and intercultural studies – are invited to learn from one another.

Jeremy Chew
I am Kneeling on the Outside, but I am Standing on the Inside: Another Look at the Story of Naaman through the Lenses of Kraft
The story of Naaman in 2 Kings 5 has been a popular mining ground for theological positions and missiological perspectives. How one views Elisha’s response to Naaman in verse 19 is inevitably affected by one’s view regarding the appropriateness of how Naaman intends to resolve the conflict between his new relationship with Yahweh and his former pagan practices. Based on the movement of the story, and the use of comparison and contrast of characters, Elisha’s answer should be seen as a positive affirmation, rather than a negative or indifferent response. Using Kraft’s model for conversion helps us see the positive benefits for doing so. Combining biblical studies and intercultural research methods, we discover that Elisha’s answer to Naaman is the most propitious response to a new convert returning to his former pagan culture.

Moe Moe Nyunt
Hesychasm Encounters Lectio Divina: An Intercultural Analysis of Eastern and Western Christian Contemplative Practices
Two ancient Christian spiritual practices have emerged in their appropriate cultural contexts throughout the complex history of Christianity. Various cultural contexts in hesychasm and lectio divina enlighten us 1) to be balanced in religious culture and social culture between solitude and communal spiritual practices; 2) to notice the ways people achieve spiritual fulfillment in various cultures; 3) to propose a verbal practice in meditation to those who belong to oral culture and a silent and visual practice to those who belong to a more literate culture; or to practice both if the culture is mixed; and 4) to recognize the meaning of spirituality defined by people of Eastern and Western culture.

Adrian Reynolds
Intercultural Hermeneutics: A Step Towards Its Effective Practice as a Clash of Perspectives on John’s Revelation
This paper calls Christian biblical scholars to engage in rigorous intercultural hermeneutics for the edification of the worldwide Church by careful appropriation of adverse perspectives. It proposes a method whereby scholars implement their interpretive method of choice and then, within boundaries thus set, carefully read from the perspectives of other scholars toward the enrichment of their own work. By way of illustration, the paper offers an example of such an interpretive struggle by the author with postcolonial scholar Stephen Moore. Thus the author’s approach of choice (Inductive Biblical Study) both informs, and is informed by, a postcolonial view.

Hunn Choi
Multicultural Hermeneutics and Mission
In this article, presented at the 2014 Interdisciplinary Colloquium, held at Royal Auditorium on the Kentucky Campus of Asbury Theological Seminary, October 10, 2014, the author examines multicultural hermeneutics in relation to mission and presents multicultural hermeneutics as a dialogical, hospitable, border crossing, marginal, liminal, and missional reading of the Bible in solidarity with others. He uses the well-known parable of the Good Samaritan as an interesting example for multicultural hermeneutics.

Benjamin D. Espinoza
Pia Desideria” Reimagined for Contemporary Theological Education
Phillip Spener’s pivotal work, Pia Desideria (1675), though written hundreds of years ago, still speaks to today’s Christian contexts, and creative engagement with the text can yield fruit when seeking to form sound ministry and educational practice. The purpose of this article is to creatively engage and re-imagine Pia Desideria in such a way that allows Spener’s six proposals for church reform to speak to theological educators today in Christian colleges and seminaries, specifically in the area of pedagogy.

J. Derrick Lemons
Communitas at the Tables: Jesus, the Marginalized, and the Modern Church
The field of the anthropology of religion would be incomplete without the theory of communitas, developed by Victor Turner (1920-1983). This paper outlines the liberating communitas experience of table fellowship utilized by Jesus to include sinners, outcasts, and the marginalized in the Kingdom of God. In particular, Jesus’ invitation of communitas at Jewish cultic meals is explained in order to recapture the original understanding of the Abrahamic covenant to be a blessing to the margins of society. The paper concludes by calling Christians to invite the marginalized to the gathered table at church and the dispersed table at home.


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