Traditionally speaking, the combination of religion and innovation – or religio et novitas – is very problematic. The aim of this paper is to show biblical interpretation as a possible tool for «social innovation», or rather in situations where a change in social practices derives from a radical change in mentality and in the values to which it gives rise. The possibility of Biblical interpretation having an effect on society bears on two kinds of question: on the one hand, regarding the contents of the Biblical nar- rative; on the other hand, religious images have the power to effect a transformation of values that promote social change. To show this, the paper analyses the role of the interpretation of Gen 9:20-27 in the origin of racism with regard to African-Americans in North America and to Dalits in India. As we will see, it is not the narrative content of the Biblical text that authorizes a line of interpretation, but rather the readers are the ones who attribute a meaning to the text because of perceived needs in their situations, which are extraneous to the biblical text.

African American and Dalit Interpretations of the Bible: A Way of Socio-Political Innovation

Lefebure, Leo
;
Tonelli, Debora
2018

Abstract

Traditionally speaking, the combination of religion and innovation – or religio et novitas – is very problematic. The aim of this paper is to show biblical interpretation as a possible tool for «social innovation», or rather in situations where a change in social practices derives from a radical change in mentality and in the values to which it gives rise. The possibility of Biblical interpretation having an effect on society bears on two kinds of question: on the one hand, regarding the contents of the Biblical nar- rative; on the other hand, religious images have the power to effect a transformation of values that promote social change. To show this, the paper analyses the role of the interpretation of Gen 9:20-27 in the origin of racism with regard to African-Americans in North America and to Dalits in India. As we will see, it is not the narrative content of the Biblical text that authorizes a line of interpretation, but rather the readers are the ones who attribute a meaning to the text because of perceived needs in their situations, which are extraneous to the biblical text.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11582/317703
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