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Christian theology is an enterprise based on texts. One of the key tasks of theology is to reclaim the life enclosed in the text as something that again becomes a liveable possibility. This will always require some kind of interpretive process. The text unfolds a possible life before the reader and the reader seeks to appropriate this world through interpretation. Theology is a discourse about life that uses interpretive methods not only to reflect on biblical texts but to show how the world of those texts can become the world of the reader too. In this book I have argued that Ricoeur’s philosophy provides a rigorous method for this kind of interpretive process. I have called this textual linguistic theology—a theology that is not simply a reflective science alone but rather a science that reflects upon life and its fundamental questions. Textual linguistic theology uses texts to show a way of life.
I have tried to show that such a textual linguistic theology is a fruitful method for Christian theology. It is rooted in narrative, grounded on ontological foundations, enlarged by linguistic possibilities, reshaped by metaphoric reality, reorganized by temporality, and oriented towards identity. Textual linguistic theology shaped in conversation with Ricoeur can help contemporary theology to appropriate biblical narratives as a source of selfhood, identity, and meaning.
Textual linguistic theology then centres on narrative for it establishes the narrative quality of both divine and human life. Narrative is the essence of...
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