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The ‘Globalization’ in the Old Testament: Suggestions for Prophetic Ministry in Globalized Context

Yoo,YoonJong 1

1평택대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This paper pursues to analyze contemporary globalized context of the world, to find various markers signifying globalization in the Old Testament, and to suggest the directions for prophetic ministry. This paper takes Walter Brueggemann's methodology in analyzing the prophetic texts by which Brueggemann defines the prophet as a challenger against royal ideology. What he means 'royal ideology' includes dominant cultures of our days like wealth, position, seeking security as well as royal ideology of the biblical times. Chapter two deals with new contexts caused by globalization. The new characteristics are 'globalization as ideology,' 'intensification of economic inequality among classes,' 'cultural diversity,' 'glocalization,' and 'creativity.' In sum, the contemporary new characteristics were driven from an economic philosophy called neo-liberalism which is spread over politics, society, cultures as well as economy, thus threatening God's created order in the world. The globalization has been accelerated by the development of information technology. There is no word for 'globalization' in the Bible, but we can find markers for signifying 'globalization.' In chapter three, the paper deals with 'literary and theological markers for signifying globalization in the Old Testament.' First, in creation story, God proclaims that everything in the world is created by God. The emphasis on God's sovereignty was the rejection of a dominant imperialistic Babylonian ideology. Second, in Exodus story, Yahweh is described as having sovereignty over history and nature. Yahweh's punishment over Pharaoh was an attack over Egypt's dominant ideology. Third, in the history of Israel, markers of globalization occur in entire history. The paper seeks to explain markers of globalization by dividing the period of a united kingdom, two divided monarchy, exiles, and Ezra & Nehemiah. Fourth, in prophetic texts, universalism in which Yahweh controls all nations as well as Israel occurs in various texts. Fifth, in wisdom literature, the marker for globalization is that Israel not only accepted the wisdom literature of ancient Near East, but also reinterpreted it according to its own tradition. Chapter four suggests the directions for prophetic ministry in globalized context of the world. First, monotheism is a rejection to a belief that any other thing except God can have a sovereignty over human being. Israel people in the exilic period did not accept imperialistic Babylonian ideology by the confessing monotheism in which only Yahweh is God. In the globalized contemporary world, we should reject any ideology that money can save the world. Second, for overcoming economic inequality in the globalized world, prophetic justice should be proclaimed. Third, capitalism is the most dominant economic system which make many various voices disappear in the world. We can find different voices in the Old Testament. Prophets rejected a unified royal theology and adopted traditional egalitarian spirit to oppose substantial discoure of their world. Fourth, it is noteable that globalization has very close connection with glocalization. Two concepts are not contradictory, but complementary. Fifth, because of diversity of contemporary world, creative imagination is required. Prophets saw visions in the crisis of history. We should also have a vision of globalization for the poor and the oppressed.

Citation status

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