Exegesis in the Making

Postcolonialism and New Testament Studies


The last thirty years have witnessed increasing diversity in methodology and perspectives within
biblical studies. One of the most dynamic and continually expanding contributions to this
development is that of postcolonial studies, known for its fresh approaches as well as for its
complex theoretical foundations. The present book aims at introducing both student and scholar to
this emerging field. Part One discusses in a structured and pedagogical way the theoretical location
of postcolonial biblical studies as well as its critique of and contributions to New Testament
exegesis more specifically. Part Two presents five articles by scholars from Africa, Asia, and North
America, illustrating the diversity of current postcolonial studies as applied to individual New
Testament texts.
Restricted Access


EUR €117.00USD $159.00

Biographical Note

Anna Runesson, Lic.Phil. (2007) in New Testament Studies, Lund University, Sweden, is rector of the Swedish Lutheran Church in Toronto. Previousl publications include studies on postcolonialism and contextual theology. She is currently writing a commentary on the Gospel of Mark.

Table of contents

List of Illustrations

Chapter One: Introduction


Chapter Two Introduction
2.1 Procedure
2.2 Postcolonial Studies: Some Initial Remarks

Chapter Three The Theoretical Location of Postcolonial Studies
3.1 The Postcolonial Phenomenon: A Presentation and a Definition
3.1.1 Excursus: Who is a Postcolonial Scholar?
3.2 Perspectives and Methods
3.2.1 Episteme: What is Reality?
3.2.2 Deconstruction—a Theory and a Method
3.3 Postcolonial Studies and New Testament Exegesis
3.4 Summary

Chapter Four Deconstructing Western Biblical Studies
4.1 Introduction
4.2 Exegesis in a Nutshell: A Short Presentation of its History
4.2.1 Defining Exegesis
4.2.2 The Historical Critical Discourse
4.2.3 Summary
4.3 Postcolonial Critique of Traditional Historical Critical Discourse
4.3.1 General Critique of Historical Critical Discourse Positivism and ‘Objectivism’ The Nature and Intention of the Biblical Text
4.3.2 Specific Critique of Historical Critical Discourse Orientalism and the Portrayal of ‘the Other’ Hegemony and Truth Claims Relevance as a Critical Problem
4.3.3 Kwok and the Quest for the Historical Jesus: A Test Case
4.3 Summary

Chapter Five Constructing Postcolonial Biblical Analysis
5.1 Redefining Exegesis: Introducing Postcolonial Approaches
5.2 Category One: Postcolonial Analysis within the Historical Critical Paradigm
5.2.1 Tracing Colonial Elements and Abuses in New Testament Texts
5.2.2 Mapping Colonial Spread of Western Biblical Criticism
5.2.3 Translating the Bible in an Indian Context
5.2.4 Inter-Textual Comparisons
5.2.5 Mapping Historical Contacts: The Ancient World Beyond the Euphrates
5.3 Category Two: Postcolonial Methodological Approaches Beyond Western Historical Critical Discourses
5.3.1 Dhvani Exegesis
5.3.2 Dalit Exegesis
5.3.3 Minjung Exegesis
5.3.4 Postcolonial Imagination
5.4 Summary

Chapter Six Summary and Conclusion: Postcolonialism and
the Search for “Authentic Exegesis”
contents ix


Chapter Seven: Introduction

Chapter Eight Postcolonial Analysis, History, and Hermeneutics
8.1 Musa W. Dube (University of Botswana). Consuming a Colonial Cultural Bomb: Translating Badimo Into ‘Demons’ in the Setswana Bible (Matthew 8.28–34;15.22; 10.8)
8.2 Khiok-Khng Yeo (Garrett-Evangelical Seminary, USA/Beijing University, China). The Rhetorical Hermeneutic of 1 Corinthians 8 and Chinese Ancestor Worship
8.3 Gregory David Wiebe (McMaster University, Canada). The Demonic Phenomena of Mark’s “Legion”:Evaluating Postcolonial Understandings of Demon Possession

Chapter Nine Postcolonial Approaches Beyond Western Historical Critical Discourses
9.1 George M. Soares-Prabhu (De Nobili College in Pune, India [† 1995]). And There Was a Great Calm: A ‘Dhvani’ Reading of the Stilling of the Storm (Mk 4:35–41)
9.2 George Zachariah (Gurukul Lutheran Theological College, Chennai, India). The Parable of the not so Prodigal Daughters: A Postcolonial Dalit Womanist

Author and Subject Index


Those interested in biblical exegesis and postcolonial studies with a special focus on New
Testament methodology in a global scholarly context. The book is well suited for use in college and
seminary courses.


Collection Information