Original Research

Decolonisation – A reading strategy for the African (re-) interpretation of the Old Testament in a (South) African context

Rudolph de Wet Oosthuizen
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 43, No 1 | a2221 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v43i1.2221 | © 2022 Rudolph de Wet Oosthuizen | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 22 February 2021 | Published: 20 June 2022

About the author(s)

Rudolph de Wet Oosthuizen, Department of Religion, Faculty of Theology, University of Fort Hare, East London, South Africa


The interpretation of the Bible cannot escape being influenced by developments and exposure to the social sciences, hermeneutics, globalisation, and so on. While acknowledging the context of progressive universalisation and the multidimensional pull towards homogenisation, the specificity of the African context(s) in the ongoing discourse regarding the theological significance of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament texts must be acknowledged. The discourse is about positionality and considers theoretical concerns raised by the social sciences and the notion of cognitive existentialism. In so doing, a reading strategy and agenda for African Bible studies can gradually be more explicitly enunciated. Issues that need to be more overtly considered are the epistemological basis upon which a historical-critical approach can continue to inform the discourse and narrow the distance between the ordinary reader with a focus on life interests and the scholarly reader with a focus on interpretive interests.

Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: Acknowledgment that Bible Interpretation is situated in a context influenced by modernity, and interdisciplinary discourse (science, philosophy, humanities and social sciences) is providing a platform for engaging various readers of the Biblical Text as religious document in the discourse.


reading strategy; positionality; modernity; African Bible interpretation; decolonisation; post-colonial; identity


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Crossref Citations

1. Contextuality, interculturality and decolonisation as schemes of power relations
Benson O. Igboin
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies  vol: 78  issue: 1  year: 2022  
doi: 10.4102/hts.v78i1.7645