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In: Exchange
In: Exchange

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.

In: Exchange

Abstract

This article reflects on the role of religion as one of four, interconnected layers in the contextual novels of the candid and controversial Indonesian author Ayu Utami (b. 1968). Next to important gender issues, substantial critique of Indonesian politics, and attention to Javanese culture and mythology, her Christian background is present, in varying density, in all novels she has published so far. This can be proved by numerous quotations from the Bible and even by the fact, that the main protagonist of her largest novel so far is given an almost Messianic status. In her earlier novels, Ayu Utami seems to distance herself from patriarchic, institutional Catholicism. However, in her most recent, autobiographical, novel she makes clear, why and under which conditions she is able to return to her maternal faith.

In: Exchange

In this article two major volumes with Chinese paper cut art by Fan Pu (Paula Fan) are reviewed. In her work it becomes clear how a traditional type of folk art can be transformed by using new techniques and material. By doing so, Fan Pu is able to make modern Christian art, which hopefully also appeals to present-day Chinese people. Herself being an evangelical Christian, she interestingly also uses sayings by pre-Christian Chinese sages like Confucius in her art; their wisdom can be seen as a kind of preparatio evangelica. The two works, analyzed here, together form a catalog of her work so far, from the nineteen seventies till now.

In: Exchange
In: Exchange

This essay describes the various ways in which the Council of Churches in the Netherlands and its respective sections and working groups interpreted Islam and met with Muslims in the Netherlands from the end of the 1970s up until the present. This encounter took place by organizing joint study meetings, writing reports and booklets on aspects of Islam and by issuing public statements in periods of serious crisis. Key words in this encounter have been “respect,” “tolerance” and “multicultural society.” Even in the last decade, when several violent acts of terrorism occurred internationally and nationally and signs of a hardening of positions towards Islam became visible in Dutch society, these key words were maintained.

In: Crossroad Discourses between Christianity and Culture

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