Old Testament Essays
versão On-line ISSN 2312-3621
versão impressa ISSN 1010-9919
VAN HEERDEN, S. W.. Taking stock of Old Testament scholarship on environmental issues in South Africa: The main contributions and challenges. Old testam. essays [online]. 2009, vol.22, n.3, pp.695-718. ISSN 2312-3621.
This article offers a survey of Old Testament scholarship on environmental issues in South Africa since the first contribution in this field in 1987. Reference is made to 33 significant studies. The survey highlights hermeneutical issues, and it suggests that, in terms of Paul Ricoeur's idea of a "hermeneutics of suspicion and retrieval," the earlier studies seem to cluster around the "retrieval" element, whereas most of the more recent studies contain a healthy dose of "suspicion" with regard to both the biblical texts and extant interpretation of the texts. A threefold typology of eco-theological studies (covenantal, prophetic and mystic), which is a combination of the typologies offered by Rosemary Radford Ruether and David Tracy, is also employed to highlight some of the affinities and differences between the studies that were the object of the survey. The article concludes with a number of challenges to Old Testament scholars exploring the field of eco-theology, and a statement on the state of the debate.