Genesis 1-11 from an Indonesian Perspective: A New Commentary by Gerrit Singgih

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Abstract

This article reflects on the relevance of the work of the Indonesian theologian Gerrit Singgih, a prominent contextual theologian and scholar in the field of the Old Testament. The article provides brief information about his work in general, mainly written in the Indonesian language, and then gives several examples of how Singgih deals with Genesis 1-11 in his recent commentary, From Eden to Babel. This commentary is both a scholarly work and at the same time a clear example of a contextual approach; it reveals that Singgih shows a preference for the universal aspects of the Old Testament. A few critical comments form the conclusion of this contribution.

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Journal of Contemporary Christianities in Context

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References

14

Singgih, Dari Eden ke Babel, 13-31.

15

Singgih, Dari Eden ke Babel, 13-15.

17

  Singgih, Dari Eden ke Babel, 102.

26

Singgih, Dari Eden ke Babel, 27. Translations of direct quotations of Singgih’s work are mine, agh.

28

Singgih, Dari Eden ke Babel, 30.

30

Singgih, Dari Eden ke Babel, 49.

31

  Singgih, Dari Eden ke Babel, 50.

37

Singgih, Dari Eden ke Babel, 140.

38

Singgih, Dari Eden ke Babel, 140-142.

39

Singgih, Dari Eden ke Babel, 142.

41

  Singgih, Dari Eden ke Babel, 223-224.

43

Singgih, Dari Eden ke Babel, 224.

44

Singgih, Dari Eden ke Babel, 110-111.

45

Singgih, Dari Eden ke Babel, 117-118.

46

Singgih, Dari Eden ke Babel, 171-174. Singgih has written more elaborately about the relevance of this wayang story Murwakala (or Purwakala) to the Javanese worldview in Emanuel Gerrit Singgih, Berteologi dalam Konteks: Pemikiran-pemikiran mengenai Kontektualisasi Teologi di Indonesia (Theologising in Context: Thoughts about the Contextualization of Theology in Indonesia), Jakarta / Yogyakarta: BPK Gunung Mulia / Kanisius 2000, 64-68. Here he explains, that Murwakala is performed during a Javanese ritual, named ruwat. In this ritual man can be delivered from the power of evil. Though he formulates very carefully, Singgih sees a certain parallel with the liberation by Christ at Golgotha, as dalang sejati (the perfect puppet player). The narrative of the deluge is related to such a new beginning as well.

47

Singgih, Dari Eden ke Babel, 182-183.

48

Singgih, Dari Eden ke Babel, 226-227.

49

Singgih, Dari Eden ke Babel, 111.

51

  Singgih, Dari Eden ke Babel, 236.

52

Singgih, Dari Eden ke Babel, 193.

54

Singgih, Dari Eden ke Babel, 210-211.

56

Singgih, Dari Eden ke Babel, 210. This remark certainly also had some relevance after the tsunami of 26 December 2004.

60

Singgih, Dari Eden ke Babel, 304.

61

  Singgih, Dari Israel ke Asia, 29.

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