There are many ways to interpret a text
‘The system in Brazil, my native country, does not compare to my studies at VU Amsterdam. We covered so much more ground here and I became aware of the various ways you can interpret a text. Before enrolling at VU Amsterdam, I knew nothing about the impact of the author, text, and reader on each other, or about how they influence each other. The author’s background and their interpretation of a text influence the way we shape our worldview and how we put theory into practice. I knew I had chosen the right Master’s degree!’
‘The Book of Revelation is widely known in Brazil, but the way it is read is quite traditional, and the book paints a fairly negative picture of the future. In Brazil, this has led to a kind of indifference because it makes life seem to be preordained.’
Let your voice be heard
‘I am developing a method to allow you to understand and interpret the book on a different level. I show how the stories told by the people surrounding Jesus shape our view of Him. If you really understand the meaning of the book, you realise your own potential. You, too, are responsible for the outcome, because it is not preordained as has been claimed. Thanks to my Master’s, I gained a better understanding of my own responsibility and want to show it to others. I want to be a bridge between academic studies and religion.’ ‘I look back on my studies at VU Amsterdam as a really valuable experience. I learned a lot and the lecturers took the time to help me. Moreover, the university’s international character attracts people from many different cultures.’
Wilson Bento from São Paulo, Brazil, Research Master’s in Theology and Religious Studies (2016). Bachelor of Theology in Brazil.