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Reading theologically

reduction and reductio

Kevin Hart

pp. 11-22

The idea of "reading theologically' of course applies first and foremost to the Bible, and represents an alternative to the historical-critical method. It also marks a critique of that method, one that proposes to return it to within its proper limits so that one can appeal to a wider sense of evidence and Evidenz than is countenanced by almost all the method's practitioners. For how can one pass from a verse or several verses of Scripture to a position of belief in the revelation of God to Jews or of Christ to Christians by narrowly and exclusively following the historical-critical method? And since the Bible is an ensemble of texts about belief in the God of Jews and Christians it seems unreasonable that the historical-critical method should be the sole way of reading Scripture practiced in colleges and universities. To read the Bible theologically bespeaks a range of reading styles, from the elaborate allegoreses of Origen and the Victorines to the new phenomenology. So does reading "secular literature' theologically, although here we are not speaking about revelation but intentionalities, some of which may be informed by having taken the Bible as revelatory. I shall confine myself here to secular literature, especially religious poetry, and in particular I shall address how the new phenomenology — the ways of thinking being developed by Jean-Yves Lacoste, Jean-Luc Marion, and others — can be of use when reading secular religious poetry. How phenomenology, whether old or new, can help theology is one of the issues that will be addressed.

Publication details

DOI: 10.1057/9780230294684_2

Full citation [Harvard style]:

Hart, K. (2010)., Reading theologically: reduction and reductio, in C. Falke (ed.), Intersections in Christianity and critical theory, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 11-22.

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