Original Research

The drum and its significance for the interpretation of the Old Testament from an African perspective: Part two

Rudolph De Wet Oosthuizen
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 37, No 1 | a1553 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v37i1.1553 | © 2016 Rudolph De Wet Oosthuizen | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 20 November 2015 | Published: 31 August 2016

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Rudolph De Wet Oosthuizen, Centre for Theology and Religion, University of Fort Hare, South Africa

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Allowing the (South) African context to inform the construction and enhancement of the comparative paradigm as a reading strategy for the interpretation of the Old Testament enables one to identify and appreciate aspects of significance for the contemporary reader, relating to the interpretation of the text. Bearing in mind the importance of music and its function regarding religious expression, various aspects pertaining to the function and significance of music are being explored in order to enrich the interpretation of Psalm 150, with specific reference to music and musical instruments. (Whilst the focus in Part one [Oosthuizen 2016] is more on some hermeneutical aspects as pertaining to a specific reading strategy, Part two explores the significance of music for the interpretation of the Old Testament from an African perspective with specific reference to the drum and its usage in Psalm 150). Music enables one to comprehend and articulate a very particular aspect of religious experience, and it is of the utmost importance that this be acknowledged and taken into account in the current debate regarding appropriate strategies for the interpretation of religious texts in an African context. Three aspects serve to illustrate how the comparative approach can be augmented by drawing attention to aspects of particular interest for an African reading of the Old Testament: ‘music as space to encounter the divine’, the infectious nature of music, and ‘drumming’ as a point of contact between the Old Testament and Africa.

Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: In our encounters with the biblical text, the (South-) African context can inform a comparative reading of the Old Testament. In so doing, the ‘comparative paradigm’ is augmented by allowing insights from various disciplines to inform the reader and to apprise a reading strategy that allows for the encounter with the text to be understood not merely in terms of a historical-descriptive or linguistic exercise only, but provides an opportunity to explore various perspectives pertaining to the appreciation and interpretation of the text (Psalm 150).


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