ASPECTS OF THE RHETORIC OF SOUTH AFRICAN NEW TESTAMENT SCHOLARSHIP ANNO 1992
AbstractTowards the end of the era of fixation on text immanent approaches, (such as structuralism, reading the New Testament as literature, etcetera) which characterized South African New Testament scholarship during the 70’s and 80’s, more and more voices could be heard complaining that-because of these approaches-New Testament scholarship has become irrelevant within the political, ecclesiastical and even theological, contexts of South Africa. In 1992two collections of essays, dealing respectively with the ethics and the theology of (almost) all the books in the New Testament, were published. Most of the prominent New Testament scholars in the country contributed to these collections of essays. Both were written shortly after the fundamental process of change in South Africa swung into motion at the beginning of 1990. Thus one could expect to find the reaction of South African New Testament scholarship to these events in these two collections. In this article aspects of the rhetoric of these collections of essays are analysed. In particular the question is asked: do these essays witness the development of a ‘grammar’ in terms of which South African New Testament scholarship can argue in a socially and theologically relevant manner within the changing South African context.
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