Original Research - Special Collection: Yolanda Dreyer Festschrift

Beyond revenge?: Responsible Bible reading practices in a Traumatized Land

Juliana M. Claassens
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 73, No 4 | a4540 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v73i4.4540 | © 2017 Juliana M. Claassens | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 08 March 2017 | Published: 30 June 2017

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Juliana M. Claassens, Department of Old and New Testament, Faculty of Theology, Stellenbosch University, South Africa


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Abstract

In this article, I argue that revenge fantasies such as those found in the Oracles Against the Nations (OAN) in Jeremiah 45–51 underscore the necessity for responsible Bible reading practices. I argue that to protect us from our own worst selves, the very human tendency to resort to revenge that inevitably leads to violence, one needs to read these biblical texts in terms of contemporary hermeneutical approaches that may play some role to bring an end to violence. A first such approach that serves as an important tool to help us understand these revenge fantasies as found in the OAN is the relatively new field of inquiry of trauma hermeneutics that is particularly helpful in order to mitigate the violent aspects of these revenge fantasies. Moreover, I propose that recent approaches such as feminist and postcolonial biblical interpretation are also vital for nurturing ethical, just communities that actively pursue justice.

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