Conclusion: Possible Futures for Bible and Asia?

In: Contextual Biblical Hermeneutics as Multicentric Dialogue

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I conclude this book on the question of what it means to be ‘Singaporean’ in the way one reads the Bible. In other words, I raise the question of identity. Here I argue that if we accept that our social identities are important in shaping our interpretative horizons, then it is important to ask what kind of consciousness we inhabit in order to read the Bible in a particular context. Therefore, thinking of context spatially as epistemic terrain rather than some form of ontological essence becomes salient and important. I begin by acknowledging that much of my consciousness in reading the Bible is determined by current structures of knowledge production that privilege white, male subjectivities working from western contexts as well as the dominant bourgeois Chinese majority in Christian churches in Singapore. This is before I pluralise my consciousness using the Bible as a centre that converges standpoints from various collectivities of epistemic agents embedded in the epistemic terrain of the context of Singapore. After mapping out the other coordinates I need to take reference from to shape my identity within the Singaporean context as I read the Bible, I evaluate the potential discursive effects such an exercise would have on the Singaporean interlocuters I have mobilised. Finally I end the book by suggesting what vistas this journey has opened up and the potential areas of further research both for the local context of Singapore, the regional contexts of Asia and the West and potentially for the world today. There are two main areas I raise for further consideration: first, what it means to construct a system of knowledge of God based on the Bible through this form of inquiry and second, what steps are needed to transform this into a more popular approach.