Theological Division


Historical Theology


Arie C. Leder

Reader 1

John Bolt


Mariano Avila


Joan Beelan

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Theology (Th.M)


Biblical interpretation, Ukpong's theory, Africa, Inculturation


The interpretation of the Bible in Africa is a broad and rapidly developing field, and also one that has attracted relatively little attention in the academy. While Justin’s Ukpong’s theory and method of biblical interpretation has generated significant discussion in the field, this study offers the first broad, critical examination of the internal coherence of Ukpong’s inculturation hermeneutics and of its broader usefulness for the theory and practice of interpreting the Bible in Africa. I begin by describing the assumptions, method, and practice of Ukpong’s inculturation hermeneutics. I proceed by using Schreiter’s criteria for contextual theologies to evaluate the coherence of Ukpong’s theory, method, and practice of biblical interpretation, and to assess the usefulness of his method and practice. While Ukpong’s theory and practice are largely consistent, his model would benefit from explicitly acknowledging and owning its critical exegetical assumptions and practices. Ukpong’s inculturation hermeneutics would also increase its utility if it were to more effectively privilege the commitments and concerns of ordinary readers over those of academic readers.



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