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An applied Hermeneutics of Resonance For the Lectionary Year B, 2014.

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Presentation on theme: "An applied Hermeneutics of Resonance For the Lectionary Year B, 2014."— Presentation transcript:


2 An applied Hermeneutics of Resonance For the Lectionary Year B, 2014

3 Fidon Mwombeki Trust Analogy A view from somewhere The hermeneutic, contrary to some contemporary views, supposes that an ancient text can still speak to a modern world. Hermeneutics of Resonance

4 Textual-canonical Theological Ecclesial Socio-cultural Particularly we focus on the move from socio- cultural resonance to theological and ecclesial Hermeneutics of Resonance

5 Our society disguises its values as common sense Sociologists call this a hegemony- an engineered consensus The gospel calls us to examine the values on which our society is based. We look critically at the common sense hegemony. The 21 st Century Context

6 Since Marx, common sense has been dominated by economics. This applies to both left and right. Alisdair MacIntyre on the effects of utilitarianism: the values that modernity imbibes are those of profit, power and status. These have become the goods of effectiveness replacing goods of excellence. ( summary ) Common Sense Today 1

7 A market economy An economy of scarcity The promotion of competition The fear of loss. How does this shape our behaviour? As Individuals? As a society? Common Sense Today 2

8 Who thinks this? David Hume: If nature supplied abundantly all our wants and desires…the jealousy of interest, which justice supposes, could no longer have a place Treatise of Human Nature, III.2 Common Sense Today 3

9 Nicholas Rescher: An economy of scarcity is, by definition, one in which justice (in a restricted sense of the term) cannot be done because there is not enough to go around: if everyone is given a share proportional to his claims and desert then someone- or everyone- is pressed beneath the floor of the minimally acceptable level. Public Concerns: Philosophical Studies of Social Issues, 123 Common Sense Today 4

10 An Honour/Shame Society Cultural anthropology and ancient rhetoric but like ours one living in tension between goods of excellence and goods of effectiveness Ancient Common Sense

11 1.Honour is the pivotal social value 2.Seeking honour for the family was the primary task of males 3.Honour was limited in supply: to gain honour meant someone else lost it. 4.A loss of honour demanded retaliation of some form. The society was thus agonistic and competitive in nature. 5.Status and honour were revealed in the ways in which participants were treated in social settings such as meals. Ancient Common Sense

12 Desirable attributes in a spouse include: Rank ( citizenship, social rank) Wealth Character Looks Health Are these goods of excellence or external goods? How might our values compare? Ancient Common Sense

13 The contexts align: limited good/scarcity Inverting or rejecting common sense? Putting a stress on goods of excellence through the rejection of goods of effectiveness Matthews Jesus in Contexts

14 The Kingdom of God The Bible gives us a perfectly consistent pattern. God has absolute sway in heaven. He should have absolute sway also on earth (ONeill 1993, 131) This geographical or territorial aspect is echoed in the OT imagery used of the kingdom which is frequently described as a town or a city. And we also need to note a rabbinic convention that the Kingdom stands for a coming kingdom which is taken on by the believe, meaning, acknowledging the effective sovereignty of God, an acknowledgment made by someone living in the world, but expecting the coming of the kingdom (ONeill 1993, 133). With this background in mind, we can note a common schema in the NT: (I) the Kingdom is like a delectable house or city or territory which people long to be able to enter when it comes; (II) people can talk about the kingdom; and (III) people can prepare to enter the Kingdom by taking its yoke upon themselves now.(ONeill 1993, 134) Jesus Goods of Excellence

15 Dikaiosune- righteousness Not based on human conventions (how often are popular views of justice reflections of the lex talionis ) Righteousness to be based on Gods character and action Available for everyone Based on a paradigm of forgiveness and love See how this expands to include all: the inclusivist biblical tradition, but not universalism Jesus Goods of Excellence

16 The gospel often stresses the difficulty of attaining goods of excellence. This can make Matthew look very legalistic and depressing. An alternative view: the impossibility of DIY demands a different approach: reliance on God Means of Acquisition

17 Many readings are parables. Greek parabole Hebrew mashal The dynamic of the story may be more important than the details ( allegorical reading) Consider how parables are comments on the lfe and ministry of Jesus. Parables

18 Suggestions for further Reading

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