Document Type



Religion (CGU)

Publication Date



African American Studies | Biblical Studies | Comparative Methodologies and Theories | Religious Thought, Theology and Philosophy of Religion


Historical and cultural criticism can serve to aid minority, culturalist readings of the Bible to stand with integrity against alien imperialistic readings. Historical criticism is necessary in order to gain perspective on the historically determined nature of all religious constructs, including those in biblical texts. Cross-cultural analysis is necessary in order to interpret the symbols and referents of biblical cultures and contemporary dominant cultures, so as to determine which symbols and referents from any culture are relevant and affirming.


First published in Semeia, vol. 47 (1989), by the Society of Biblical Literature.

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© 1989 Society of Biblical Literature

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