Seminary guest to speak on intercultural reading of the Bible

Seminary guest to speak on intercultural reading of the Bible

Dr. Hans de Wit, professor emeritus of theology at VU University Amsterdam, The Netherlands. (Photo: Provided)

By Annette Brill Bergstresser

ELKHART, Indiana (Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary) — A researcher and specialist in intercultural Bible reading will speak March 2–4 at Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary (AMBS), 3003 Benham Avenue in Elkhart.

Dr. Hans de Wit, professor emeritus of theology at VU University Amsterdam, The Netherlands, will be the featured guest for the seminary’s annual Theological Lectureship March 2–3 and will present a three-hour workshop for the seminary’s Church Leadership Center on March 4. De Wit has led an international intercultural Bible reading project since 2000 and will share about his work with the project, which has brought together "ordinary" readers, Bible teachers, pastors and scholars from different countries in five continents to study a biblical text.

Dr. de Wit’s research explores the boundary between exegesis and ordinary readings of the Bible. A scholar of the Old Testament, his life was profoundly shaped when he spent nearly 10 years at the Comunidad Teológica Evangélica (Evangelical Theological Community) in Chile. While there, he researched and wrote widely on what has been called the Latin American “biblical movement,” including popular readings of Scripture in base communities and beyond. His dissertation focused on learning about Bible reading from the poor.

Dr. de Wit has lectured and traveled as a visiting professor in almost all Latin American countries and in many countries in Asia, Africa and Central and Eastern Europe. He has also been a contributor to numerous specialized journals and publications, including Bible commentaries, essays and monographs on exegesis and hermeneutics, contextual and intercultural hermeneutics, methodology, and Bible reading with “ordinary” people.

“Reading the Bible with Christians from around the world changes our perspective,” said Rebecca Slough, AMBS academic dean. “We see familiar stories in startling new ways. Dr. de Wit has helped church people in their home communities in the United States, Argentina, The Netherlands and South Africa share in Bible study and learning from each other. We look forward to learning from him.”

For a list of events that are open and free to the public, please visit the Theological Lectureship page. Details and registraion for the Intercultural Reading of the Bible in the Congregation: An interactive workshop to explore Luke 18 from global Christian perspectives are available through the Church Leadership Center.