Doctoral dissertation defence Janneke Stegeman


11:45 - 12:45

Aula, Hoofdgebouw Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

Decolonizing Jeremiah: identity, narratives and the power in religious tradition

Janneke Stegeman

Faculteit der Godgeleerdheid

Theologie en wijsbegeerte


In her dissertation ‘Decolonizing Jeremiah: Identity, Naratives and Power in Religious Tradition’ Janneke Stegeman analyzes constructions of identity within Jeremiah 32 and its ongoing reception history. The latter includes its contemporary reception in the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

In this study, Jer. 32 is viewed as interpreted tradition, that is continually being re-intepreted in what Stegeman calls the 'Jeremianic tradition'. Stegeman argues for an approach uniting traditional exegesis - beginning with the data the text offers - with a post colonial approach that takes into account the power negotiations taking place in the tradition. Thus, Stegeman makes visible the layeredness of Jer. 32 and gives insight into the processes shaping the ongoing tradition.

Stegeman shows that this approach also has value for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Here too, careful analysis of constructions of identity in interaction with the tradition can open up fixed identifications and lead to transformation. Stegeman therefore argues that it is the task of exegetes to point out the complexity and richness of this tradition, over against voices naively or more aggressively claiming to have the true interpretation of the text.

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