Reading Theologically

Reading Theologically

Eric D. Barreto editor
Copyright Date: 2014
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  • Book Info
    Reading Theologically
    Book Description:

    Reading is one of the basic skills a student needs. But reading is not just an activity of the eyes and the brain. Reading Theologically, edited by Eric D. Barreto, brings together eight seminary educators from a variety of backgrounds to explore what it means to be a reader in a seminary context--to read theologically. Reading theologically involves a specific minset adn posture towards texts and ideas, people and communities alike. Reading theologically is not just about academic skill building but about the formation of a ministerial leader who can engage scholarship critically, interpret Scripture and tradition faithfully, welcome different perspectives, and help lead others to do the same. This brief, readable, edited volume emphasizes the vital skills, habits, practices, and values involved in reading theologically. Reading Theologically is a vital resource for students beginning the seminary process and professors of introductory level seminary courses.

    eISBN: 978-1-4514-8752-7
    Subjects: Religion

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Contributors
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. Introduction
    (pp. 9-14)
    Eric D. Barreto

    Reading is so commonplace that we often don’t even notice how much of it we do. When we think about reading, we might imagine curling up with a novel next to a roaring fire on a cold winter’s night or hunkering down in a library for research. We might picture delighting in a graphic novel on an iPad or a glossy magazine full of advice for better living. Or we might recall the more mundane forms of reading we encounter every day: bills, reports, road signs.

    And yet reading extends beyond deciphering marks on a page. We “read” the outdoors,...

  5. 1 Reading Basically
    (pp. 15-30)
    Melissa Browning

    I was a junior in college when I first learned to read—really read—at an academic level. I was taking an upper-level New Testament course and, after several dismal presentations by students in the course, the professor decided we had never really learned to read. He told us that when you read an academic text or when you read Scripture it should involve more than just reading (and, one hopes, comprehending) words. You must dialogue with the text, he said. He advised that when you read Scripture for an academic class you should read it again and again. Then,...

  6. 2 Reading Meaningfully
    (pp. 31-48)
    Miriam Y. Perkins

    Meaningful understanding, often called “interpretation” in academic contexts, is vital throughout seminary education. Interpretation is deliberative exploration and creative expression of fruitful encounter. It is essential to understanding scripture texts, historical sources and artifacts, theological writers across time, and real-time conversations about ethical, spiritual, and pastoral matters. The finding and sharing of insight involved in interpretation is always shaped by encounters between ourselves and what we read, ourselves and other people, and our own life experiences and the presence of God.

    Even so, while in seminary we rarely stop to think about the process of interpretation, the patterns of how...

  7. 3 Reading Biblically
    (pp. 49-64)
    Amy L. B. Peeler

    As a champion of the Epistle to the Hebrews, I often find myself citing Hebrews 4:12, “Indeed, the Word of God is living and active,”¹ to affirm that God speakstodaythrough the Scriptures. My colleagues who study other “texts”—Shakespeare, poetry, the events of history, or the movements of nature—would testify that they hear God speaking to them in their disciplines, a claim I readily affirm as a proponent of the liberal arts who believes that all truth—wherever it is discovered—is God’s truth. At the same time, they would also acknowledge that the Bible holds a...

  8. 4 Reading Generously
    (pp. 65-74)
    Gerald C. Liu

    Reading generously is a practice of love. In Matthew 22:34-40, when Jesus is asked what the greatest commandment is, he adapts a quotation attributed to Moses in Deuteronomy 6:5. Jesus responds: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.” The adaptation of this quotation appears as Jesus ends his response with the word “mind.” In the source text of Deuteronomy, Moses uses the word “might.” A couple of verses later in Matthew, Jesus quotes the Hebrew scriptures again. This time Jesus points to Leviticus 19:18, where God...

  9. 5 Reading Critically
    (pp. 75-94)
    Jacob D. Myers

    Rarely does a horror film offer much for those seeking to hone skills of critical reading, but I would argue that the recently releasedWorld War Zdefies the trend.¹ Drawing from the award-winning novel by Max Brooks,²WWZfollows the travails of Gerry Lane, an ex-security expert for the United Nations who finds himself and his family suddenly on the brink of annihilation as a zombie plague spreads across the globe like wildfire. As the story unfolds, we follow Lane in his search for the source of this deadly viral outbreak as he strives to stay alive.

    His journey...

  10. 6 Reading Differently
    (pp. 95-108)
    James W. McCarty III

    Context matters. We can understand the words and actions of others only with knowledge of the contexts in which those words were spoken and those actions taken. For example, whether someone thinks it is appropriate to wear shoes in one’s home depends on their historical and cultural context. An early-twenty-first-century American will probably hold a different view on this question from her Korean contemporary.

    A parallel principle holds in theology. To do theology well, then, requires the ability to think with people in different contexts. This chapter explores why this is the case and how one might approach doing so....

  11. 7 Reading Digitally
    (pp. 109-124)
    Sarah Morice Brubaker

    The first time I explored Second Life, I got stuck in the rafters of an unfamiliar building, wearing nothing but a helmet and a bustle.

    Second Life, for those unfamiliar with it, is an online virtual world where those sixteen years old and older can buy real estate and clothes, socialize, attend a house of worship, find that special someone, have a wedding, converse with dragons, or scuba dive in a barrier reef (to give but a few examples). And because the virtual physics of Second Life need not correspond to the physics of this world, new combinations of activities...

  12. 8 Reading Spiritually
    (pp. 125-136)
    Shanell T. Smith

    “Oh. My. Gosh! What have I gotten myself into? This is not what I expected. This is not like the Bible studies we have at church. Did somebody just say ‘thatman, Jesus?!’ … And all this reading?! How am I ever going to be able to retain this? How is this overload and bombarding of ‘religious’ material supposed to help me grow spiritually? Ugh!”

    Welcome to seminary.

    These thoughts recurred in my mind during my first year of seminary training. I had applied to seminary to get closer to Jesus and to get ordained so that I could preach...

  13. Reading More
    (pp. 137-140)
  14. Bibliography
    (pp. 141-145)
  15. Back Matter
    (pp. 146-146)