Gaps and Ghettos
Over the past 30 years, the rise of poststructuralism, postcolonialism and liberation theologies has presented a number of challenges to the field of biblical hermeneutics. Each of these approaches emphasizes the subjectivity of interpreters, texts, and interpretations, and each argues in various ways for the necessity of self-determination in interpretive communities. These are all positive challenges to which more traditional voices in the discipline have been required to respond, and many of these voices have responded positively and supportively. However, one may also observe that the positive developments associated with increasing emphases on subjectivity and self-determination have been accompanied by a retrogressive ghettoization of interpreters, interpretations and interpretive communities.
This negative development is a direct result of the positive developments previously mentioned. Subjectivity and self-determination by their very nature passively encourage the development of interpretive ghettos, which only active integrative effort on the part of interpreters can overcome. Each of these ghettos legitimizes itself with reference to its particular context as well as to the subjectivity of all other perspectives and the potential equality of all interpretations. Each is primarily concerned with its own context and with the interpretive interests delimited by various aspects of that context. This is not to suggest that boundarycrossing efforts have not been or are not being made. Nevertheless, the overall trend is towards segregation; divergent interpretive communities are increasingly viewed as separate but equal.
- Power and Responsibility in Biblical InterpretationReading the Book of Job with Edward Said, pp. 1 - 16Publisher: Acumen PublishingPrint publication year: 2012