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Where is Jesus 'at Home'? Hermeneutical Reflections on the Contextual Jesus

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This article deals with the new meanings contributed to Jesus in new contexts. It questions how Jesus can be brought 'at home' in an African or Asian context. In particular, the methodological aspects of this question are objects of research. First, following a description of the complex relationship between culture-religion and the importance of the southern hemisphere as the center of world Christianity, the inculturation process in the New Testament times is analyzed. Second, the notion of the 'remembered Jesus' is applied to the inculturation process in the New Testament and to the constitutive period of the early church. Third, a threefold criterion to assess contextual Jesus-interpretations is articulated and related to the idea of double transformation as main characteristic of an adequate inculturation process. Fourth, the question is asked whether we can speak of an 'unknown, hidden Jesus' in Asia and Africa.

Affiliations: 1: Professor of intercultural theology, Faculty of Theology of the Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, The Netherlands; International Reformed Theological Institute (IRTI)


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