“Gideon and Baal: A Test Case for Interfaith Dialogue” by Richard D. Nelson, Perkins School of Theology – Southern Methodist University

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The practice of Scriptural Reasoning (SR) provides a unique resource for interfaith dialogue. This process brings together Muslims, Jews, and Christians to converse about their respective canonical texts (Qur’an, Tanakh, Bible). Treating the Christian Bible as a theater of conflicting values demonstrated by characters allows it to move beyond being a sectarian canon to become a focal point for negotiating religious and ethical diversity.

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2 Responses to ““Gideon and Baal: A Test Case for Interfaith Dialogue” by Richard D. Nelson, Perkins School of Theology – Southern Methodist University”

  1. Josh Stanton says:

    Has SR been applied to texts other than the Quran, Torah, and New Testament? Might it also be applied to Vedas, for example?

  2. Ian Mevorach says:

    I do not understand why, in the context of Scriptural Reasoning, one would be concerned with molifying the claim of Abrahamic faith that there is only one God. While it is certainly true that their are conflicting values demonstrated by characters in the Christian Bible, there is a clear message throughout the text that there is only one God. It does not seem that any narratives in the Christian Bible are neutral on this point, as much as one might want them to be, even if taken out of context from other more prescriptive types of Scriptural texts.

    In terms of negotiating faith-claims between the Muslim, Jewish, and Christian communities of faith, there is no need of discovering a position in the Scriptures from which to embrace Baal or any other god besides God. Monotheism as such is not a sectarian issue between Christians, Muslims, and Jews; it is, rather, our allegiance to the same single Deity, the God of Abraham, that brings us to the table of interfaith dialogue. I would be interested in seeing another test case of the method elaborated by Dr. Nelson that more persuasively demonstrates how a theatrical approach to Scriptural Reasoning can help negotiate a text that is actually problematic to interfaith dialogue.

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