Item description for Return to Babel by Levison...
Overview Each of the ten historically significant biblical texts (five OT, five NT) are interpreted by Latin America, African, and Asian biblical scholars. These international scholars draw on their heritages-proverbs, songs and tales from their cultures-to shed light on the Christian Bible and tradition.
In "Return to Babel," each of ten historically significant biblical texts is interpreted by three scholars: one Latin American, one African, and one Asian. Geographic locales range from a tiny village in the Philippines to the city of Nairobi, Kenya; from Gwangju, South Korea, with its one million inhabitants, to the frontier city of Wiwili in the northern mountains of Nicaragua. The result is a collection of essays that shed new light on familiar texts and make the reader aware of the ways in which culture can shape our understanding of Scripture.
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Studio: Westminster John Knox Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.96" Width: 6.44" Height: 0.62" Weight: 0.83 lbs.
Release Date Jul 14, 2004
Publisher Westminster John Knox Press
ISBN 0664258239 ISBN13 9780664258238
Availability 128 units. Availability accurate as of May 25, 2017 10:16.
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Reviews - What do customers think about Return to Babel?
What does a dying sheep in the Africa have to do with Jesus? Feb 6, 2001
We all "see through a glass, darkly" and our understanding is affected by our viewpoint. Perspective is the capacity to view and understand things in their true relation or relative importance to the world we live in.
In North America, when we look at the text of the Bible, we do so from our own "perspective". Each reading of the text is read from our own bias. Often we are unaware of the excess luggage that we are toting with us. We have integrated into our consciousness the concepts of capitalistic consumerism, democracy, individualism and freedom, just to name a few.
Trade places with a poor, oppressed African woman, living with six hungry children, hoping for any messiah to show up; walk with her and consider how she would respond to the teaching of the Bible you read. How then would you understand a saying out of Ecclesiastes like "There is a time for everything... a time to mourn and a time to dance" or if she read "If you see the poor oppressed in a district, and justice and rights denied, do not be surprised at such things"?
What the editors of "Return to Babel", have collected over six years, is different perspectives from fifteen various authors, all from the non-western world. Latin American, African and Asian contributors write a threefold commentary on five Old Testament texts (Genesis 11, Exodus 20, Psalm 23, Eccl. 3 and Isaiah 52) and five New Testament texts (Matthew 5, John 1, Acts2, I Cor. 15, and Rev. 21). The majority of these writers, though educated, are not academic theologians. They are individuals from every walk of life, who encounter daily suffering and oppression and have committed themselves to social change.
To read outside my own perspective is not only challenging, but also unsettling. The stories, proverbs, cultural insights of familiar Biblical text never cease to engage me. The African's read Psalm 23, "The Lord is my shepherd" , from a viewpoint where the people live daily with their domestic animals, caring for them often at a great expense to themselves. To hear their perspective, their commentary, on this Psalm is refreshing. Yearly, our world is growing smaller and the panorama by which we look upon other cultures needs to be deep and wide. If you are a student of the Old or New Testament then you serve yourself well to get a copy of "Return to Babel". Highly Recommended
An thrilling introduction to cultural exegesis Mar 25, 2000
This collection of thirty essays brings together an amazing chorus of voices to talk about the Bible. The editors have chosen ten important biblical texts, each of which is interpreted here in three separate essays - one from an African, one from Asian , and one from a Latin American. The result is a panoramic view of what the Bible means in the lives of people from a great variety of settings. Each author first establishes a context for reading the text, a particular situation within her or his own culture. A second section in each essay then addresses the meaning of the text itself. In a third section called "Reflection," context and text are brought together. Without fail this procedure illustrates the dynamic ability of the biblical text to address human culture. Most readers are bound to encounter some very different points of view from their own. Those accustomed to hearing the Bible interpreted only by persons much like themselves will often be startled or even disturbed, but the resulting expansion of understanding is a prize worth the moments of discomfort.