Following up on an earlier article about research methodology in Christian spirituality, David Perrin focuses on the need for research to go beyond phenomenological description of the object being studied (e.g., a text or a work of art) and explore the object’s effects on a person’s life in ways similar to what the Christian tradition has called transformation or conversion. Here is the article’s abstract:
This article, based on the philosophical hermeneutics of Paul Ricoeur, proposes a theoretical model that helps explain the substructure of hermeneutical methodology used in research as well as in general studies in Christian spirituality. Ricoeur goes beyond the phenomenological approach, which seeks a “thick description” of the phenomenon, text, or object being studied, to understand why and how these works can not only be observed, described and interpreted, but taken back up into a life such that the “story of the past” in turn becomes “the story of the present” — our story, our living reality. Ricoeur’s analysis of mimetic theory thus takes an “ontological” turn — new being is posited as the result of hermeneutical inquiry. This article will be of particular interest for those engaged in research methodology in Christian spirituality.
Here is the article’s citation information:
David B. Perrin (2018) “Mimesis: The Substructure of Hermeneutical Methodology in Christian Spirituality,” Studies in Spirituality 28, 85-115.