Earth, Empire and Sacred Text - Muslims and Christians as Trustees of Creation - David L. Johnston

Earth, Empire and Sacred Text - Muslims and Christians as Trustees of Creation - David L. Johnston

Chapter 5 READING HOLY SCRIPTURES

Earth, Empire and Sacred Text - Muslims and Christians as Trustees of Creation - David L. Johnston

David L. Johnston [+-]
Saint Joseph’s University
David L. Johnston is Visiting Scholar at the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at the University of Pennsylvania and an adjunct lecturer at the Saint Joseph’s University, Philadelphia. He lived for fifteen years in Algeria, Egypt and the West Bank, where he served as a pastor and teacher. He then completed his PhD work at Fuller Theological Seminary (Pasadena, California) in theology and Islamic Studies; continued his research and taught part-time at the Religious Studies Department at Yale University. His published articles and essays have mostly focused on the intersection of theology and law in contemporary Islam (Islamochristiana, Islamic Law and Society, The Maghreb Review, Die Welt des Islams and Journal of the American Academy of Religion). His blogs can be found on his website, www.humantrustees.org

Description

This chapter closes the first part of this project. In the preceding pages I have described the socioeconomic and political landscape of postmoder- nity, pointing simultaneously to the urgent nature of Muslim–Christian cooperation in fostering a more inclusive, just and peaceful alternative to the Western-led, neoliberal McWorld, and to the philosophical issues within the postmodern paradigm that Muslim and Christian theologians cannot afford to sidestep. Foregoing the scientism of the modern mind- set, I have urged both parties to take into account how knowledge is produced in science, through theories, models, paradigms and research projects— a process that owes a great deal to the dynamics of individuals working within the framework of received traditions in particular com- munities. I hope to have shown that Barbour’s comparison between the production of knowledge in science and the working out of theology in religion is not so far-fetched as it might have first seemed. Despite the obvious differences in subject matter, one does encounter a great deal of similarity in the methodologies employed.  In both cases, the core beliefs draw from and feed into the data through the use of imagination, sym- bols, analogies and models. Though I am here highlighting the reading of sacred texts, Barbour’s characterization of the data of religion as being “religious experience, story and ritual” is a good reminder that all four elements are in dynamic interaction and mutually influence one another in surprising ways.   In the following section, I draw out the conclusions of the last chapter on the hermeneutics of sacred scriptures and apply them to the task at hand. I end by making explicit my own approach to the Qur’an in the following chapter.      

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Citation

Johnston, David L.. Chapter 5 READING HOLY SCRIPTURES. Earth, Empire and Sacred Text - Muslims and Christians as Trustees of Creation. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. 208 - 236 Apr 2010. ISBN 9781781790359. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=19280. Date accessed: 21 Nov 2017 doi: 10.1558/equinox.19280. Apr 2010

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