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Document Details :
Title: Hermeneutics as a Key Issue between Migrant and Non-Migrant Churches
Author(s): JANSEN, Mechteld
Journal: Studies in Interreligious Dialogue
Volume: 20 Issue: 2 Date: 2010
This article focuses on the actual view and use of the Bible in Christian immigrant churches in the Netherlands. It is argued that many migrant pastors in these communities use a set of basic rules that may easily be misunderstood by non-migrant readers. From interviews with twelve migrant pastors this set of rules appears to consist of: a) the presupposition that the Bible contains words with performative power; b) the expectations that the God who acts in the Bible can and will act again in much the same way in migrants’ lives at any time; c) exegesis should be faith-oriented and need-driven. These basic rules may sometimes lead to unsubstantiated claims, selective use of the Bible and reading for proof texts. While this can be ignored by Western scholars as 'fundamentalist,' the article suggests that it is more fruitful, even in academia, to meet the needs of immigrant Bible readers critically. The process of migration intensifies the need for protection, educational help, comfort, and identification for persons who feel lost in their new country. These needs may be shared by many ordinary readers in the non-migrant churches as well.