Prophetic rhetoric : a multidimensional interpretation of Amos 9

Rinquest, Linzay (2003-04)

Thesis (DTh)--Stellenbosch University, 2003


ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The issue of the identification of the audience/s of the final chapter (chapter 9) in the book of Amos is currently moot. That is, there currently are as many opinions as there are scholars who have in some form or the other made some inference as to the identification of the audience. The same is true for the preceding chapters in the book. The reasons for the divergence in opinions as to the identification of the audience varies from the methods chosen for engaging the text to reasons that are not always easy to identify. Yet the opinions are often freel y shared in the monographs, commentaries, dissertations and scholarly journal articles. This dissertation aims to follow an approach that is more interpretatively accountable and responsible in dealing with the identification of the audience/s of Amos and in particular chapter 9. This goal is best achieved by interacting with the scholars as they have recorded their findings in the various scholarly publications while engaging the text with a suitable method. The method chosen by this study for achieving the intended purpose is the multidimensional approach of Vernon Robbins, termed socio-rhetorical criticism. This approach aids in the study of the text by uncovering the various "textures" of the text. These textures are identified by Robbins as innertexture, intertexture, social and cultural texture, ideological texture and sacred texture. As socio-rhetorical criticism does not overtly take into account the influence of the reader in the production of the meaning of the text and how this influences interpretative results, it would be necessary to investigate how to incorporate the influence of reader-response methodology to make the results more responsible and accountable. The majority of scholarly opinion sees at least three possible audiences identifiable within the book of Amos. These audiences are identified as eighth, seventh and sixth century in setting. Yet the reasons for such identification is often not clear and greatly debated. Differences in opinion have often resulted in religious questions being raised regarding the authority and intention of the text should these various audience identifications be accurate. This study seeks to understand and identify the main influences that determines the conclusions on various audience identification and present an approach that would be more suitable to answer the question more clearly. The particular influence that this study demonstrates is the reinvention of texts by identifying the layers of reinterpretation contained in the text by identifying its implied audience/so It is this identification that allows the text to be applied to current readers as they identify with the process of reinvention and ethically accountable interpretation.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Daar bestaan op die oomblik geen finale beslissing aangaande die identiteit van die toehoorders van die finale hoofstuk van die boek van Amos nie Met ander woorde, daar is op die oomblik so veel opinies as wat daar kenners is wie op een of ander manier gevolgtrekkings aangaande die identiteit van die toehoorders van die boek gemaak het. Redes aangaande die verskillende opinies om die identiteit van toehoorders vas te stel wissel van die metodes gekies om die teks te bestudeer tot redes wat rue al te maklik is om te identifiseer nie. Maar gevolgtrekkings word openbaarlik in monografiee, kommentare, proefskrifte en akademiese artikels aangaande die boek gepubliseer. Hierdie proefskrif stel as doel om 'n metode van studie te volg wat meer verantwoordelik en verantwoordbaar is ten opsigte van die identifikasie van die lesers van die boek Amos en in besonder aangaande hoofstuk 9. Hierdie doel sal ten beste bereik word deur saam met die kenners te debateer soos hulle opinies vasgele is in publikasies en terwyl die teks bestudeer word. Die metode wat hierdie studie gaan gebruik, is die multidimensionele benadering van Vernon Robbins, sosio-retoriese kritiek. Hierdie metode benader die teks deur die verskillende teksture van die teks te ontbloot. Hierdie teksture is deur Robbins verduidelik as intertekstuur, intratekstuur, sosiale en kulturele tekstuur, ideologiese tekstuur en teologiese tekstuur. Omdat sosiale-retoriese kritiek nie duidelik die invloed van die leser in ag neem wanneer dit die produksie van die bedoeling van die teks betrek, sal dit vir hierdie studie nodig wees om hierdie invloed deur leser-respons kritiek te benader. Die doel hiermee sal wees om die resultate van die studie meer eties verantwoordbaar en verantwoordelik te maak. Die meeste kenners bevestig ten minste drie toehoorders in die boek van Amos. Hierdie toehoorders word geidentifiseer in agtergrond as agste, sewende en sesde eeu. Maar soos alreeds gestel, die redes vir hierdie identifikasie is altyd nie duidelik nie. Verskille in opinies het soms daartoe gely dat teologiese vrae aangaande die outoriteit en doel van die teks gevra is sou die identifikasie van verskillende toehoorders waar wees. Hierdie studie stel ten doel om die verskillende aspekte wat die gevolgtrekkinge beinvloed aangaande die identifikasie van toehoorders te identifiseer en 'n benadering te volg wat meer geskik is om die vraag beter te kan beantwoord. Hierdie studie demonstreer dus dat die interpretasie van die teks deur die verskillende lesers bepaal kan word deur die teks te bestudeer vanuit die oogpunt van die verskillende interpretasie binne die teks. Dit is hierdie identifikasie wat die toepassing van die teks moontlik maak vir huidige lesers soos hulle identifiseer met die proses van die herinterpretasie en etiese verantwoordelike interpretasie van die teks.

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