VOICES FROM THE MARGIN: INTERPRETING THE BIBLE IN THE THIRD WORLD, edited by R. S. Sugirtharajah. Orbis Books, Maryknoll, 1991. 454 pp. $19.95 (paper). ISBN 0-88344-770-3.
This collection of thirty-two reprinted essays is divided thematically under five main headings: (1) Use of the Bible: Methods, Principles and Issues; (2) ReUse of the Bible: Examples of Hermeneutical Explorations; (3) The Exodus: One Theme, Many Perspectives; (4) One Reality, Many Texts: Examples of Multi-faith Hermeneutics; and (5) People as Exegetes. The contributors are mostly biblical scholars from the Two-Thirds World who are seriously applying the historical-critical method to the Bible while wrestling with the realities of torture, death, terror, poverty, and oppression. The editor provides an introduction, one article on Interfaith Hermeneutics in Part Four, and a postscript. The organizing theme of this collection is the reading and interpretation of scripture out of the experience of being alienated and powerless. In other words, it concerns the present day 'am ha'ares or today's ochlos (cf. the Korean minjung) who are theologically, socially, and economically marginalized.
Like other collections of essays, this one is a mixed bag. However, it provides a good sampling of the various approaches current today in seeking to read, interpret, and appropriate the biblical texts. …