The Impe(/a)rative of Dialogue in Asian Hermeneutics within the Modern/Colonial World System: Renegotiating Biblical Pasts for Planetary Futures

In: Biblical Interpretation
Stephen Chin Ming Lim King’s College, London, UK

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In this essay, I explore the reader’s social location in the modern/colonial world system to evoke a possible future for biblical studies that responds to Gayatri Spivak’s call in Death of a Discipline to move towards the planet over and against the globe. Through the work of Raimon Panikkar, I argue a case for reading from elsewhere that departs from objectivist desires of reading from nowhere and nativist inclinations of reading from here so as to disrupt the privilege of biblical scholars. Together with a reading of Daniel 1, I demonstrate how my social location in Asia not only calls for the imperative to dialogue but also requires an imparative perspective that allows me to exercise reflexivity to inhabit an(-)Other’s standpoint. This is in order to challenge the social identities I inhabit so as to emphasise the need to rethink the terms of conversations on biblical hermeneutics between the West and Asia.

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