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Title: Always on the way and in the fray : British Baptist hermeneutics in dialogue with Walter Brueggemann
Author: Dare, Helen Jane
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2012
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Four hundred years after their beginnings in Europe, Baptists are still proud of their reliance on scripture, which has been at the centre of their devotional life and the basis for their ethics and practice. Among British Baptists, however, sustained self reflection on the reception of the biblical text has been neglected, resulting in a lack of a framework for understanding and negotiating interpretative diversity within the community. From a different perspective, and critical of'reductionist' Old Testament study, WaIter Brueggemann encourages the church and academy to dissent from a dominant interpretative hegemony no longer appropriate in a postmodern context. His work presents Baptists with an imaginative dialogue partner for considering their hermeneutics. His rhetorical and sociological criticism accentuates the dialectical aspect of the biblical text which he believes is crucial to Israel 's faith practice in dialogical relationship with God. In relation to a specific interpretative community, Brueggemann's commitment to the ongoing interaction of sometimes conflicting testimonies stimulates the work of aspirational Baptist helmeneutics, which draws on, and develops, key Baptist themes of covenant and the ongoing search for further light and truth. The fruits of this reinvigorated approach are highlighted in an analysis of Psalm 22. In developing Brueggemann's analysis for the British Baptist context, a renaissance of the Baptist understanding of covenant relationships helps create a hermeneutical context in which Baptists may negotiate interpretative diversity constructively. A renewed commitment to Baptist covenantal understanding of discipleship as 'walking together with God and with each other' requires a willingness not to 'close down' the process of ongoing biblical interpretation in a desire for interpretative stability and certainty. Instead, a willingness to risk a dialogical openness to the voice of divine and human covenant partners, constitutes interpretation that is always 'on the way and in the fray ' .
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available