Original Research - Special Collection: Graham Duncan Dedication

Ruminating on Justin S. Ukpong’s inculturation hermeneutics and its implications for the study of African Biblical Hermeneutics today

Madipoane Masenya (ngwan’a Mphahlele)
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 72, No 1 | a3343 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v72i1.3343 | © 2016 Madipoane Masenya (ngwan’a Mphahlele) | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 27 January 2016 | Published: 10 November 2016

About the author(s)

Madipoane Masenya (ngwan’a Mphahlele), Department of Biblical and Ancient Studies, University of South Africa, South Africa


In African biblical scholarship, the concept of inculturation hermeneutics has come to be almost, if not always, linked to the late Professor Justin S. Ukpong, the Nigerian New Testament scholar. In inculturation hermeneutics, argued Ukpong, the past of the biblical text is not supposed to be studied as an end in itself, but as a means to an end. Ukpong (2002) could thus argue: ‘Thus in inculturation hermeneutics, the past collapses into the present, and exegesis fuses with hermeneutics’ (p. 18). What does Ukpong’s concept of inculturation hermeneutics actually entail? Which implications does his notion of the fusion of exegesis and hermeneutics have for the theory and praxis of African Biblical Hermeneutics particularly on the African continent today? The preceding questions will be engaged with in this article.


Ukpong; inculturation hermeneutics; social cutural context; ordinary people


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