An earlier generation of missionaries set as their goal the development of independent churches: self-supporting, self-propagating, and self-governing. Now it is becoming clear that, to be independent, a church should also be self-theologizing. I argue here that, because a church is established in a particular location, the people must look to their own hermeneutical principles in order to interpret Scripture in that context. As their own theological project develops, although they may be in conversation with the universal church, they will establish their own distinctives. Then they will be in a position to continue the theological discourse of the age as well as engage the long tradition of the church. How might their hermeneutical practices differ from the practices that Europe and America have developed? As a beginning, I suggest that we consider the impact of orality, colonization, cultural diversity, and social organization on hermeneutics.

The text of this article is only available as a PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.