Storytelling plays a significant role in the spiritualities of many religions. In this recently published article, David Perrin explores how stories help shape a person’s character as well as his or her spiritual life within the Christian tradition. Here is the article’s abstract:
Everybody loves a good story. Whether it is told on the big theater screen, performed as an opera, or read from the tattered pages of a favorite childhood story book, we all enjoy participating in story-telling and story-receiving in differing ways throughout our lives. Stories have that effect on us: they take us to the action, transform us into one of the participants, and draw us into the intrigue that seeks to be resolved. In Christian life, many texts that have come down to us in the traditions act upon us in the same ways: they take us to the heart of the action. They transport us into their world so we can take part in what the text is all about. This is not to suggest that the Christian texts are fiction, as I described story-telling above. But, fiction or not, texts in general – and the dynamics that play out in the life of the individual and community when reading them – hold many things in common. Texts play a central role in the development of Christian life, conversion, and character formation, since these texts bring us to absorb a world of values and action that reflect the long-standing wisdom of the Christian traditions and our relationship with God. This article explains, from a textual hermeneutical perspective, why and how “reading” texts and stories of all kinds contribute to personal spiritual-human development and, in turn, character formation in Christian life.
Here is the article’s citation:
David B. Perrin, “Stories, Hermeneutics and Maturation in Christian Life” Vol. IX, No. 1, January 2018, Vinayasādhana: Dharmaram Journal of Psycho-Spiritual Formation, Dharmaram College, Bangalore, India, 35-57.