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Theological interpretation: Theory and Practice
Theological Interpretation" is a contemporary catch-phrase for an approach to scriptural interpretation that stands in general contrast to historical-critical approaches. Less a method in its own right than a set of (not necessarily uniform) values with respect to reading Scripture, theological interpretation has often been seen as a protest movement against the exclusive hold of historical-criticism on Christian reading of the Bible .. It has variously emphasized ecclesial and doctrinal contexts or referents for interpreting the Scriptural text, and has made use of several traditional methods of exegesis, including typology, figure, and sacrament in addition to historical criticism. Behind the application of these methods are a range of theological presuppositions about the nature of God and divine revelation in Christ. This course seeks to sort out some of the background and meanings associated with the broad movement called "theological interpretation", by looking at some theoretical and historical discussions. More importantly, the course will engage actual practice of theological interpretation, examining different approaches to a given Scriptural text, in order to gauge continuities and discontinuities among theological interpreters, to evaluate critically their approaches, and finally to help students develop a clear theological understanding of the nature and presuppositions of faithful Scriptural interpretation.