Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Dim Sum and Chinese Hermeneutics

T&T Clark Blog highlights the endorsement received from Prof R. S. Sugirtharajah, Professor of Biblical Hermeneutics, University of Birmingham, UK, on an upcoming publication, Reading Christian Scriptures in China, ed. by Chloe Starr, expected to be released in April 2008.

"This distinguished assemblage, like the dim sum, is a rich feast. If China is emerging as an important force in the twenty-first century, then this scholarly and highly nuanced volume has the potential to make Chinese hermeneutics part of that exciting narrative. This exceptional collection addresses competently a wide range of hermeneutical issues, from the complexities of reception history to the politics of printing bibles, from the issue of public access to biblical material to the Christian Bible’s capricious status as a source for both moral and political engagement. This handsome guide to a territory which is totally new to those engaged in the field of biblical studies opens up new vistas in Chinese biblical interpretation and at the same time introduces to the English-speaking world the hitherto inaccessible but insightful and innovate hermeneutical enterprise of earlier Chinese interpreters like T.C. Chao; the interactions between biblical precepts and Confucian concepts, and the transformations that occur; and the constraining and enabling effect of Chinese culture and politics on the Bible. Written elegantly by China experts and Chinese both at home and abroad, this volume shows that hermeneutics can be both charmingly entertaining and wonderfully informative. Enthusiastically I recommend this book."

Sounds interesting enough? As a Chinese Malaysian, I look forward to interacting with this edited volume. In my current research, I am attempting to read some of the Pauline texts using Chinese hermeneutics and this book will no doubt contribute significantly to my research. Literature on Chinese hermeneutics is scare and this subject matter remains an area yet to be explored. As such, this edited volume by Starr will be a timely welcome. But, I suspect that the price of the book will be prohibitive. Hmm...I wonder a review copy would be made available for the budding NT scholar in the Two-Thirds world?

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