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The Dangers of Deuteronomy a Page from the Reception History of the Book

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Chapter Summary

This chapter talks about the reception of concepts and portions from the book of Deuteronomy by the majority of South African Dutch Reformed theologians from about 1930 to 1960, the time during which the policy of apartheid was invented, formulated and defended. In their discussion of reception aesthetics Fokkema & Ibsch remark that, since reception aesthetics accepts the mutability of an aesthetic object, it "cannot avoid discussing problems of historical and cultural relativity, and taking a stand on the questions of understanding and the 'fusion of horizons'. One's own epoch, they assert, is an essential element in the constitution of the aesthetic object. Accordingly, knowledge of the historical circumstances and mindset of pro-apartheid readers of Deuteronomy could enhance insight not only into the contribution of their historicity to their construction of Deuteronomy's meaning (their aesthesis), but also uncover their interests in the meanings generated (their ideology).

Keywords: Deuteronomy; ideology; policy of apartheid; South African Dutch



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