In this article, Professor David Perrin focuses on Paul Ricoeur’s mimetic theory as a resource for research in Christian spirituality and spiritual theology. Here is the article’s abstract:
A shorter version of this article was first presented at a conference titled The Study of Christian Spirituality and Spiritual Theology: Evolving Methodologies sponsored by the Society for the Study of Christian Spirituality and The Forum of Professors of Spirituality Theology in Rome, Italy, September 25-28, 2019. The essay presents the mimetic framework — that is, theory of representation — of the French philosopher Paul Ricoeur as a theoretical tool that would allow researchers to embrace each of the unique contributions that Christian spirituality and spiritual theology make in research methodology as partners. Ricoeur’s mimetic theory suggests a cyclical understanding of a work — conceptual, artistic, narrative, or other — that is never complete. The researcher is always thrown back into the primordial world of our originary rootedness to “think some more.” Research methodology — whether from within spirituality or spiritual theology — continually returns us to the “world-of-the-work” — a mimesis — to interpret new models of being-in-the-world: a task common to both.
Perrin, David B. “Mimesis as Common Ground for Spirituality and Spiritual Theology.” Offerings: A Journal of Christian Spirituality and Practical Theology, 13 (2020), 45-65.
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