Less is More—Revisiting Classical Christian Texts in a “De-Churched” Society: The Case of Philippians

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This paper presents an experimental case study in contextual hermeneutics. It explores the hermeneutical and heuristic potential of taking seriously the contemporary experience of marginalization of churches in the Netherlands as a context from which to approach the biblical text—with an eye toward gaining a stronger sensitivity for and awareness of marginality and marginalization. The focus on these particular religious communities and these particular texts is incidental, but since there is much material available concerning them, they provide a good starting point. In principle, this study also could have been conducted with Muslim communities, with the Qur’an as a starting point, for instance. An overarching concern of the experiment at stake here is to show that contextually based hermeneutics can indeed contribute fresh insight into texts, insights that are of historical relevance as well.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationText and Context
Subtitle of host publicationVernacular Approaches to the Bible in Global Christianity
EditorsMelanie Baffes
Place of PublicationEugene
PublisherPickwick Publications
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781532643422
ISBN (Print)9781532643408, 9781532643415
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2018

Publication series

NameContrapuntal Readings of the Bible in World Christianity


  • Secularization
  • Netherlands
  • Biblical Interpretation
  • Hermeneutics
  • Philippians
  • Paul
  • New Testament
  • minority groups

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