The globalization of hermeneutics has generated recent, intense debate. One useful definition views it as the process of asking new questions of the text, particularly in light of the experiences of marginalization of a large percentage of the world's population. John 3–4 and its dialogues between Jesus and the contrasting characters of Nicodemus and the Samaritan woman offer a fruitful test case of this process. Striking inversions of contemporary expectations about their roles result. Interesting answers emerge from raising questions of liberation theology, feminism, politics and religious pluralism. Metacriticism, however, must move us beyond these more parochial, though often overlooked, concerns. Ultimately John subordinates both characters to his focus on the significance of Jesus.

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