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In this collection, scholars from diverse geographical locations revisit a cluster of five biblical texts: Ruth, Song of Songs, Qoheleth (Ecclesiastes), Lamentations and Esther. The volume presents various viewpoints and contexts-geographical, communal, religious, social, economical and ethical. Matching scholarship with social awareness, the contributors keep asking themselves and their readers a dual-faced question: how does our life context influence our scholarly and non-scholarly readings of the Bible, and how does reading the Bible critically influence our life?
To answer this question and to show it at work the contributors employ a range of contextual lenses. Geography is a major factor of the contributors' contexts – with contributors from South Africa, Argentina, Israel, the Pacific Islands – but not the only one to influence their readings. Issues of society, culture and community are at the foreground for all contributors and their reading agendas with specific focus on the AIDs crisis in Africa, issues of migration and asylum, and feminist approaches to biblical texts.