What hermeneutic have you used or been taught to use for reading Scripture? A hermeneutic that says I have to defer to patriarchal religious authorities as a Catholic because the alternative is private interpretation which is totally subjective and invalid. In my experience of being Protestant it was different but very chaotic and confusing because so many claimed to be authoritative in their hermeneutics. Alison does a great job of steering clear of anything polemical.
How does the role of the one reading change when the emphasis is on the question, “How do you read it?”
I like the phrase “through whose eyes” do you read it because it implies that the reading can only happen within a relationship. Interpretation doesn’t happen in a vacuum ever. In his essay James writes, “We read the Scriptures eucharistically, through the eyes of Jesus our Rabbi”. This suggests intimacy and concreteness – staying human. He continues, “We read through the eyes of one who is present amongst us and who causes us to undergo a complete change of belonging to our world, so that we find him interrupting us, speaking to us from out of the periphery of our vision, from just off the screen of what we can understand, including us in a story which is his story…We find ourselves being…drawn into a bigger framework”. I am struggling towards this way of seeing which is far removed from the abstract theorizing and applying the moral code.
I am seeking a new hermeneutic at present which is why I am taking this course. James gives me a good beginning by noting that the Emmaus disciples interpretative experience is structured but not a question of authority.