Go to Main Menu, Bonus topic for my series: Reasoning with Faith, Religion, and Atheism
Scriptural Reasoning (SR) is a growing academic field of study, because it is a relatively young philosophical field of thought. In some academic circular it is also referred to as textual reasoning and in some Christian scholarly circles it is commonly referred to as Biblical Reasoning or Reasoning from the perspective of the Bible. Scriptural Reasoning is a inter-religious dialogue of primarily the three major Abrahamic religions. According to Scriptualreasong.org, “Scriptural Reasoning is a practice of inter-faith reading. Small groups of Jews, Christians and Muslims, and sometimes people of other faiths, gather to read short passages from their scriptures.”
Scriptural Reasoning is used as a tool for textual understanding in essential textual beliefs. It is seen as not just a theological practice, but also an academic practice involving participants from highly regarded secondary institutes involving theologians, religious philosophers, and textual scholars. It is designed as a method of interfaith dialogue so that individuals and groups can seek a deeper understanding of theological and philosophical truths. Unlike other forms of reasoning which are pure logical thought; scriptural reasoning is dependent upon the group atmosphere of exchanging theological ideas and principles. It usually involves group participant meetings sometimes in mixed religious backgrounds (Muslim, Christian, Jew) or in mixed intra denomintal settings (Pentecostal, Baptist, Presbyterian). It is done in this methodical fashion because it is about gaining deeper understanding & respect of different theological viewpoints all along the religious spectrum.
“Yet it is important to emphasize that theology should not seek to impose itself in other domains of knowledge, or even to displace other areas of thinking akin to itself. Rather theology presents the case of the coherency of proposing a profound, abysmal reality as the creative environment for the actualities grasped as “data” or “differences” in the discrete areas of knowledge, disciplines and human experience. It tries to perceive a sacred density in and through the finite (Schleiermacher), weaving approaches to reality which other disciplines, epistemologically and methodologically speaking, are barred from undertaking. Situating theology in a trans disciplinary plane implies that the particular understanding of theology as a discipline is constantly being modified by its interaction with other fields and areas of knowledge. In fact, this is what has happened during the last two centuries.” – Dr. Guillermo Hansen, Reasoning through Theology
To help promote SR, the Journal of Scriptural Reasoning has put together some general guidelines to help facilitate the meetings.
Many in the academic/secular/philosophical community do not consider Scriptural Reasoning a true form of reasoning and logic thought. Some don’t find it as practical as inductive or deductive reasoning. However Scriptural Reasoning does truly display the mindset of how the theist works in that they assume certain presuppositions (i.e. the existence of God) about the text and dialogue about them for the purpose of discovering theological truths. So even though Scriptural reasoning is considered a form of reasoning, it is very narrow view of reasonable thought. And if it is not done in a good diverse group intra-faith denominations it can lead to group think. To summarize it -Scriptural Reasoning is reasoning from the multiple religous perspectives of textual belief.