Article: Hermeneutical Methodology in Christian Spirituality, by David B. Perrin

In his article appearing recently (despite the publication year) in Theoforum (vol. 44, no. 2, 2013, pp. 317-337), David Perrin draws on the work of Paul Ricoeur and Sandra Schneiders and concludes that “the academic community doing research in spirituality, and in Christian spirituality in particular, ought to be a hermeneutical community.”

Here is the article’s abstract:

This article examines how hermeneutical methodology offers the researcher in Christian spirituality a way to understand “movements of meaning in life” such that the meaning of human existence within the movement of the Divine in the world can be discerned.  In order to accomplish this task as it applies to Christian spirituality, hermeneutical methodology pushes the researcher beyond a singular conceptual framework, theological or other, to advance and adjudicate the results of research projects.  Furthermore, hermeneutical methodology evaluates the perspective (bias and prejudice) of the researcher as a positive contribution to the research analysis.  As such, the article explains why the study of experience as experience – the formal object of study in Christian spirituality – is seen as the door to seeing new and exciting ways that the Divine is active in “making all things new.” (Rev. 21:5)

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