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The interaction of talk and text: Re-contextualising Biblical interpretation

Todd, Andrew 2013. The interaction of talk and text: Re-contextualising Biblical interpretation. Practical Theology 6 (1) , pp. 69-85.

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This paper shows how discourse analysis of local Bible-study groups re-contextualises understandings of biblical interpretation. The paper first considers how literature on biblical interpretative practice commonly works with ideal types of reading and readers, with little attention paid to actual readers. Drawing on an empirical study of three Bible-study groups, the paper offers a very different hermeneutical picture, of meaning achieved in social interaction, involving subtle negotiation. The paper demonstrates the significance of conversational structure for understanding groups’ interpretation. Further, it shows how attention to the interaction of different ‘voices’ challenges the use of labels such as ‘traditional’ or ‘liberal’. This analysis, it is argued, suggests a hermeneutic driven, not by a quest for knowledge, but rather by relational concerns; and by the hope that in ‘fellowship’ and learning together, group members will discover ‘insight’. The analysis thus reveals how Bible-study offers a distinctively practical theology of biblical interpretation.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: History, Archaeology and Religion
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BS The Bible
Uncontrolled Keywords: Bible-study groups; biblical interpretation; discourse analysis; social interaction; speech-exchange patterns; voice; relational hermeneutics
Publisher: Equinox Publishing
ISSN: 1756-073X
Last Modified: 20 Jul 2017 02:37

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