Janneke Stegeman was born in the village of Woudenberg, in the middle of the Netherlands, in 1980. She studied protestant theology at VU University and obtained her master’s degree in Old Testament studies. In 2014, she earned a PhD with her dissertation ‘Decolonizing Jeremiah: Identity, Narratives and Power in Religious Tradition’, in which she analysed constructions of identity within Jeremiah 32 and its ongoing reception history (see also defence). The latter includes its contemporary reception in the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Jer. 32 is viewed here as interpreted tradition, that is continually being re-intepreted in what I call the ‘Jeremianic tradition’. She argues for an approach uniting traditional exegesis – beginning with the data the text offers – with a post colonial approach that takes into account the power negotiations taking place in the tradition. Thus, the layeredness of Jer. 32 becomes visible, providing insight into the processes shaping the ongoing tradition.
This approach also has value for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Here too, careful analysis of constructions of identity in interaction with the tradition can open up fixed identifications and lead to transformation. Janneke therefore argues that it is the task of exegetes to point out the complexity and richness of the Jeremianic tradition, over against voices naively or more aggressively claiming to have the true interpretation of the text.
She is interested in the interaction between religion and conflict and indecent theology. She regularly gives lectures, preaches and writes articles on these topics. With Mariecke van den Berg en Matthea Westerduin, Janneke founded TITS (The Indecent Theology Society)/GeNOT (Genootschap voor Onbetamelijke Theology).