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Title: Spiritual reading : a study of the Christian practice of reading Scripture
Author: Harvey, Angela Lou
Awarding Body: Durham University
Current Institution: Durham University
Date of Award: 2012
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The practice of reading Christian Scripture is at the heart of the Christian faith and its spirituality. This dissertation is a theological exploration of what “spiritual reading” might mean in the context of the western church today. I begin with a brief consideration of the term “spiritual reading” and its connections with practices of theological interpretation and lectio divina, and note how this type of reading has been intrinsic to the Christian faith. Chapter two considers the role of the church in reading the Bible spiritually, and it contrasts the setting of the church with the settings of modern biblical scholarship and of reading the Bible as a classic work of literature. Chapter three then turns to literature more broadly, and explores the spiritual dimensions to the practices of reading classical works. In contrast to a general method of religious reading, I argue that the Christian faith profoundly shapes the practice of the Christian spiritual reading of Scripture, and I turn to Karl Barth and Henri de Lubac in chapters four and five as two modern theologians who explore the theology behind spiritual reading. Barth profoundly sets out the reality of God, and de Lubac makes the centrality of Jesus clear. In chapters six and seven I look at Ellen F. Davis as one who exemplifies the kind of spiritual reading I am exploring; chapter six sets out Davis’ reading principles, while chapter seven examines four examples of her exegesis: Psalm 109, Psalm 149, Numbers 11, and the book of Ruth. In the conclusion I link these strands of spiritual reading together and note areas of further research, and give a sketch of a spiritual reader of Christian Scripture today.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: spiritual reading ; religious reading ; practice of reading ; theology of reading Scripture ; Karl Barth ; Henri de Lubac ; Ellen F. Davis