Contextuality and the crisis of Biblical studies

Course summary:
Course summary:
K. van der Ham MA,
dr. Peter-Ben Smit,
Prof.dr. K. Spronk,
Janneke Stegeman, PhD,
Iris Verbeek, junior fellow
€ 10
20 April 2022 until 30 April 2030 Permanently available

In recent decades, the field of Bible studies has seen an increasing number of studies that include the contextual embedding of the researcher, and often of a specific reading community, in the interpretation of Bible texts. How can these kinds of methods help us to give meaning? This online course is a recording of one of our panels during the international PThU conference 2022.

  • Course contents

    Approaches such as contextual, gender and postcolonial bible studies, childist criticism, autobiographical reading, and bibliodrama have in common that they view the hermeneutical understanding of the reader's contribution to the meaning-making process as an asset, not an obstacle to scientific interpretation. Although they have been and sometimes still are viewed with suspicion by mainstream exegesis, these practices of interpretation are known for their transformative power and their potential to renew the scientific field.

    In this panel, we reflect on methods that integrate the views of non-professional recipients. The overarching question is: how can collaborative research methods help generate meaning useful in dealing with personal, local and global problems for the individual, the religious community and society?

    Panel members

    • Moderator: Klaas Spronk, professor Old Testament, PThU
    • Janneke Stegeman, PhD, theologian specialised in the Old Testament: ‘Decolonising Jeremiah with Israeli-Jewish and Palestinian Christian readers’
    • Iris Veerbeek, Junior Fellow, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam: ‘Imagining Good Futures: children’s theology as an approach for intergenerational biblical reflection on sustainable futures’
    • Kirsten van der Ham: PhD student, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam: ‘Can Contextual Bible Study and Intercultural Bible Reading with Bible Study groups help overcome racial ideologies engrained in Dutch Christian communities’
    • Peter-Ben Smit: professor contextual Bible interpretation, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam: ‘How can collaborative research methods assist to generate meaning that is helpful in dealing with personal, local and global problems for the individual, the religious community and society?’
  • Target audience

    Theologians, ministers, pastors, church workers.

  • Data and availability

    The panel lasts approximately 1.5 hours. The course material remains permanently available and can be viewed at any time.

  • Costs

    Costs for this online course are € 10.

  • Registering

    You can register by filling in the form on this page. You will be able to pay immediately. After payment, you will receive the course material via the email address you entered on the form.


After registering and paying, the online recordings will be sent to the e-mail address you have provided.


Cookies help us improve your experience on our website. Functional cookies contribute to a smoothly running website. Analytical cookies provide us with insight into how users use the website. Marketing cookies allow us to offer you personalised content based on your website visit.