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Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Reading James Allison reading Scripture

At the end of a discussion of Romans 1 in which James Allison argues that it has nothing to do with what we call homosexuality, draws our attention to the context within which reading is done.

Because for us the prime source of authority is not the text itself but the crucified and living victim alive in our midst, who is the living interpretative presence teaching us how to undo our violent and evil ways of relating to each other, and how together to enter into the way of penitence and peace. For us the phrase 'The Word of God' refers in the first place to a living person, and only by analogy to the texts which bear witness to him. The living hermeneutical presence is more important than that which it is hermeneuting. This is what is meant by Jesus telling the Pharisees in Matthew's Gospel: 'Go and learn what this means, "I desire mercy and not sacrifice"
And: '... If you had known what this means 'I desire mercy and not sacrifice " you would not have condemned the guiltless" (pp.139-140 Undergoing God: dispatches from the scene of a break-in)

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