- BOURGEOIS Franck - Ottobah Cugoano, premier auteur antiesclavagiste noir
- CRETE Liliane - Du contrat céleste à l’Eglise des derniers temps : la théologie ecclésiale de John Cotton
- FLEYFEL Antoine - Les aspects désacralisants de la théologie de Moyse Amyraut
- ALEXANDRE Jean - Rencontrer l’Ecriture hébraïque comme poème
- MARGUERAT Daniel - Mon parcours d’exégète. Essai d’autobiographie
Frank Bourgeois’s essay examines the life and work of Ottobah Cugoano, the first emancipated slave who wrote an antislavery pamphlet. He was also the first black author who developed a theological refutation of the legitimacy of slavery. A devout Christian who regularly attended Methodist meetings, he appropriated the slave-owners’ religion and the British culture for the benefit of his fellow people suffering under the yoke of the colonial planters. His work can be seen as an important stage of the emergence of an African British culture at the end of the eighteenth century.
In this essay about neo-English Puritanism, Liliane Crété analyses the development of John Cotton’s theological and ecclesiological thought as minister of the First Church of Boston (New England). She shows how his interpretation of the biblical concept of covenant between God and man (b’rît) brought him to an eschatological understanding of the ideal Christian church during the troubled times of Cromwell. His historical prophetical preaching on the Revelation of St. John the Divine shows his eschatological hopes. At the end of his life, the Reverend John Cotton undoubtedly considered himself as the spiritual guide of the new elected people, the « Saints » of Massachusetts and planned to lead them to the « first resurrection » with hope, fervour and discipline.
Antoine Fleyfel shows that the Reformed theologian Moyse Amyraut plays an original part on the philosophical and exegetical scene of seventeenth-century France. By questioning various assumptions central to the narrative scheme of « sacred history » the guiding light of the Academy of Saumur provides a distinctively theological contribution to the process of secularisation that will find its most decisive manifestation in the separation of state and religion.
Jean Alexandre argues that the art of poetry in Hebrew Scriptures primarily consists in writing down the spoken word. Rather than inert figures of speech, its language carries out a fluctuating movement running toward its end. Therefore, the task of the translator is to convey the significance of the Bible’s alien words into a language that creatively voices what is alien in such alien words.
Daniel Marguerat has seized the opportunity of his retirement as a teacher at the University of Lausanne (Switzerland) to reconsider his lifework as an exegete. Starting from his initial training in historical critical analysis, he identifies the various impulses which gradually modified his practice and shows how the discovery of semiotics (an « amazement » as he said) and of psychosociology (after May 1968) have shaped an exegetical method integrating narratology without dismissing the more historical approaches. He concludes this intellectual biography by suggesting that the ultimate purpose of the exegetical quest is to investigate into the scriptural wording of the issue of God, disapproving thereby of exegetical approaches steering clear of this issue.