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Old Testament Essays

versão On-line ISSN 2312-3621
versão impressa ISSN 1010-9919

Old testam. essays vol.25 no.1 Pretoria  2012

 

Hearing Tamar's voice: Contextual readings of 2 Samuel 13:1-22

 

 

Charlene van der Walt

University of Stellenbosch

Correspondence

 

 


ABSTRACT

The story of Tamar in 2 Sam 13:1-22 formed the basis of a qualitative research inquiry that investigated the intricate functioning of the intercultural Bible reading process. It is a process theoretically based on the combined hermeneutical frameworks of Feminism and African hermeneutics. Although the research showed that the inter-cultural Bible reading process cannot avoid the complexities of an inherent power dynamic, it proved to be a space that promotes human dignity and has the inherent capacity to facilitate social transformation. The intercultural Bible reading space can thus be described as a dynamic meeting place: a space that facilitates the meeting of individuals from various cultural backgrounds and reading positions, but also the meeting between modern readers and the culturally removed biblical text. In this paper I will look at the reception history of 2 Sam 13:1-22, describing the rape of Tamar in traditional scholarship as well as feminist and African scholarship. Special attention will be given to the feminist scholar, Denise Ackermann's interpretation of hope. I will then discuss the interpretations that were given by the intercultural Bible reading groups that were constructed for the qualitative research inquiry. In doing so, I will show that the intercultural Bible reading space is a dynamic creative space that allows individual readers to draw on a wealth of personal contextual knowledge as a key to interpret the Bible text. In the intercultural Bible reading process, a diversity of readers are thus brought together that find creative new ways to journey through old biblical landscapes by drawing on contextual knowledge and sharing interpretative gifts.


 

 

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BIBLIOGRAPHY

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Correspondence:
Charlene van der Walt
(Post-doctoral research fellow at the Department of Old and New Testament at the University of Stellenbosch)
The Department Old & New Testament, Faculty of Theology; Stellenbosch University
Stellenbosch; South Africa
Email: charlenevanderwalt@sun.ac.za

 

 

1 Edited version of a paper delivered at the International Meeting of the Society of Biblical literature, held at King's College London, London, United Kingdom, 3-7 July 2011.