Research Focus Areas

Hermeneutics and exegesis of the New Testament and related literature

Social-scientific study of the New Testament 

Prof Ernest van Eck, Prof Zoro Dube, Dr Hanré Janse van Rensburg

Seeks to explain the social dynamics, cultural scripts, and institutions revealed in the New Testament (i.e the religious, geographical, historical, economic, social codes, and cultural values operative within the world of early Christianity) by utilizing the perspectives, theories, and models generated by the social sciences. Social-scientific criticism investigates the manner of textual communication - that texts were strategically designed for effective social interaction that had social, literary, and theological consequence. Most significantly, it seeks to isolate the social data embedded in texts and constructs models that simplify and systematize the data for comparative purposes. 

The post-colonial reading of ancient texts 

Prof Ernest van Eck 

Reading the texts of the New Testament from a post-colonial perspective in order to establish responsible socio-religious mechanisms for the use and application of biblical texts in the contexts of African societies. 

African hermeneutics 

Prof Zoro Dube

To explore African interpretive tools in the reading of the New Testament.

Rhetorical culture 

Dr Hanré Janse van Rensburg

A study of orality and its implications for biblical texts - Rhetoric and aesthetic theory postulate that utterances/texts engender affective and aesthetic effects. Keeping in mind that the New Testament documents were composed during a period of dynamic interaction and interconnectedness between orality and literacy, a ‘rhetorical culture’, encourages us to look at the biblical texts in relation to their oral-aural contexts and consider how these oral-aural texts functioned in the ancient world.

Abductive reading as hermeneutical approach 

Dr Hanré Janse van Rensburg

Reading the texts of the New Testament using different hermeneutical approaches and exegetical methods, more specifically making use of abductive reasoning from within social-scientific criticism, employing a hermeneutic of suspicion. 

Published by Petronel Fourie

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