ROCHE, AMY (2020) Facilitating spiritual understanding through hermeneutical and critical Bible engagement: What can be learned from the experience of a group of Christians reading the Bible with a course developed from the work of Sandra M. Schneiders? Doctoral thesis, Durham University.
|PDF (Amy Roche Doctoral Thesis 2020 DThM) - Accepted Version|
This study responds to concerns about the gap that has been identified between biblical scholarship and pastoral uses of the Bible. It does so by exploring whether critical hermeneutical approaches that are found to be helpful in scholarship can be made accessible to ordinary Christians in a way that enriches their faith. In order to investigate this, I first develop a Bible course from the work of Sandra M. Schneiders, whose approach to the Fourth Gospel integrates Christian Spirituality with critical scholarship. This course is then used in an empirical study with a group of Christians in order to see how the hermeneutical theory is experienced by participants.
The first part of the thesis gives an analysis of Schneiders’ work in its wider context, and then offers an account of the methodology and context used in developing the study. I also describe the context of the study, which took place with women at an international church in Lebanon. Findings showed that one benefit of critical questions is that they allow Scripture to speak not only in ways that support what is believed, but also take readers beyond their existing presuppositions. An evaluation is given to show how specific aspects of the reading approach help the process of understanding. However, facilitating this in the context of a group required the question to expand beyond hermeneutical concerns. It was crucial to facilitate a sense safety, and openness. Insights are offered from educational theory, which are shown to be valuable to hermeneutical and spiritual perspectives of understanding. This is argued to be most helpfully viewed as a multi-directional dialogue that requires facilitation between readers and text, with one another, and with God.
|Item Type:||Thesis (Doctoral)|
|Award:||Doctor of Theology and Ministry|
|Keywords:||hermeneutics, Sandra Schneiders, ordinary readers, Bible studies, John's Gospel, spiritual reading, dialogue, biblical spirituality, cultural diversity|
|Faculty and Department:||Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Theology and Religion, Department of|
|Copyright:||Copyright of this thesis is held by the author|
|Deposited On:||01 May 2020 10:59|