Last modified: 25 Jul 2017 15:11
What does it mean to read the Bible responsibly? This question is vitally relevant to anyone working closely with biblical texts, whether in academic study or in the context of faith communities who consider the biblical texts to be their Scriptures. This course will examine bring together the theory or philosophy of biblical interpretation with the associated methods and skills. Students will learn how the way we think about biblical interpretation has changed through the modern period and will learn how to implement the critical methods associated with the various theories. As well as acquiring and refining an interpretive skill-set that will immediately benefit their own engagement with the Bible, students will be exposed to theories of interpretation that are radically different to traditional approaches. Whether or not they agree with these, the knowledge will allow them to understand why other readers of Scripture hold very different beliefs about what is “biblical”.
|Session||Second Sub Session||Credit Points||30 credits (15 ECTS credits)|
This course will offer students an opportunity to reflect on what it means to read the Bible responsibly and to acquire the skills involved in good biblical interpretation. The practices involved are far more heavily affected by cultural and philosophical factors than we may recognize: approaches to the biblical texts that are considered acceptable at certain times or in certain contexts may be regarded as problematic or even reprehensible in others. Understanding these issues will enable students to become responsible interpreters of the Bible, with an appropriately diverse skill set and a sensitivity to the motivating factors behind alternative interpretations. In order to accomplish this goal, the course will trace the major movements in traditional and modern “hermeneutics” while explaining the practical methods associated with each and allowing students the opportunity to practice these. As well as the key methods in historical criticism (including form-, source-, redaction-criticism), the course will engage with social-scientific methods and developments in ideological criticism, as well as the recent renewal of interest in “theological interpretation.”
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Formative feedback will be provided through the tutorials and class exercises. This will involve both staff-led and peer-led discussion of interpretations and exegetical findings. Further formative feedback will be provided on all work submitted for assessment.
Summative feedback will be provided through the grading of work submitted for assessment.