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Toward a Dialogic Hermeneutics

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Reading Gen. 4:1-16 with Akan Eyes

image of Horizons in Biblical Theology

Since the rise of African Biblical Hermeneutics, several different approaches have been developed in order to contextualize the Word within the African continent. However, excessive emphasis on context and culture runs the risk of generating a pseudo-biblical theology, not concretely founded on the Scriptures. Using Gen 4:1-16 as a study case, the article explores a dialogic approach to interpretation, respectful of both the biblical text and the receiving culture. Text and culture are placed “face to face” so that from their dialogue a call to action may arise addressed to the community of believers living in Ghana. After proposing an exegetical analysis of the text, the call to action in the text is brought into dialogue with a specific culture of Ghana (the Akan). With the help of traditional proverbs, the article analyses the assumptions with which the Akan culture encounters the text and the challenges that the text poses to the culture.

Affiliations: 1: Department for the Study of Religions University of Ghana P.O. Box LG66—LegonGhana


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