February 13, 2018

Critical biblical pedagogy: Toward the interpretive (re)reading of a culturally loaded text

Seminar with Dr. Jane Dawson
Tuesday, February 13th, 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Ponderosa Commons Oak House, Room 2012

The Bible is a culturally loaded text with a long and polarizing history. It has served equally as a conservative and radical social force, providing a vocabulary to both support controlling power structures and protest against them. It is difficult to encounter the Bible without our minds already shaped by preconceptions one way or the other, or dismissive of the Bible altogether as a narrowly dogmatic and outmoded relic.
Drawing on theoretical perspectives from the philosopher Paul Ricoeur, feminist theologian Elizabeth Schüssler Fiorenza and others, this seminar explores the continuing relevance of biblical texts in secular society and the importance of reading past our existing preconceptions. It introduces an approach to critical biblical pedagogy as a potential resource for examining the central role of interpretation and metaphor in the making of meaning and engaging with alternative perspectives. “It is by interpreting that we can hear again” (Ricoeur).

Jane Dawson is an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Educational Studies at UBC. She is also an Associate Fellow with the Centre for Studies in Religion and Society at the University of Victoria. She is currently working on an ethnographic study of biblical interpretation in secular and church contexts.