The most helpful introductory book to the understanding of minjung theology is without doubt the collection of articles with an introduction by Daniel Preman Niles for the Commission on Theological Concerns of the Christian Conference of Asia, edited by Yong Bock Kim, Minjung Theology: People as the Subjects of History (Maryknoll: Orbis, 1983). For a very comprehensive summary of theological efforts in Asia, see the monumental volumes edited by John C. England et al., Asian Christian Theologies: A Research Guide to Authors, Movements, Sources from the Seventh to Twentieth Centuries, vols. 1—3 (Maryknoll: Orbis, 2004).

Y. B. Kim (ed.), Minjung Theology: People as the Subjects of History (Singapore: The Christian Conference of Asia, 1981), pp. 185—96.

Daniel Preman Niles gives a brief summary of the varieties of minjung theologies and their biblical approaches in 'The Word of God and the People of Asia', in J. T. Butler, E. W. Conrad and B. C. Ollenburger (eds.), Understanding the Word: Essays in Honour of Bernhard W. Anderson (Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1986), pp. 281—313 at 284—95. Ahn Byung-Mu's identification of the ochlos (the motley crowd) in Mark's Gospel as the minjung over against the laos, a definable national or religious group, represents one of the ways of minjung appropriation of the Bible in a Korean context. See Ahn's article, 'Jesus and the Minjung in the Gospel of Mark', in Kim (ed.), Minjung Theology, pp. 138—52.

Niles, 'The Word of God and the People of Asia', in Butler et al. (eds.), Understanding the Word, Essays in Honour of Bernhard W. Anderson, p. 296.

always been cautions from the minjung theological communities to guard against too fast a fusion of the two stories without a thorough examination of the tensions between them.

Dalit and minjung biblical interpretations are just two of those many approaches to the Bible from the perspective of the experience of the oppression of the people, who attempt to seek empowerment from their reading of the biblical text. Contextual socio-political sensitivity to the plight of the people is the point of departure, and the aim of biblical interpretation is largely communal liberation from social injustice imposed by oppressive socio-political structures. Biblical interpretations of the homeland theology of Taiwan, the theology of struggle in the Philippines and the tribal theology in northeast India operate within a more or less similar scope. The socio-political context has played a significant role in the understanding and criticism of the biblical text.

The second aspect of the notion of the Asian context is its plurality of living religions, which has caught the attention of Asian Christians, especially Christian intellectuals, from colonial times. Efforts have been made in various communities, in their own settings in Asia, to deal with the problematic of the hermeneutics of the encounter between Christianity and the Asian religions and their scriptures. Different solutions have been proposed, with a variety of terminology and conceptual frameworks. 'Indi-genization', 'accommodation', 'acculturation', 'adaptation' and 'incarnation' are some of the well-known labels.21 Since the independence movements of the fifties and sixties in the last century and the subsequent nation-building and social reconstruction projects in various Asian countries, these labels have given way to the more recent framework of 'contextualization', a term applied to theology by Shoki Coe of Taiwan.22 With light shed by postcolonial and post-modern critical theories, this chapter attempts to re-visit the issue of the Bible and the plurality of religions, and to critically appropriate them in the proposed framework of a cross-textual reading process and the notion of identity.

It is a well-known fact that, when the Protestant missionaries brought the Christian Bible to Asia during the colonial enterprise in the nineteenth century, the Christian text was in the camp of the colonizer and was introduced to meet the multitude of scriptures through an imbalance

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