Date of Award

Spring 5-2011

Document Type

Thesis

Primary Advisor

Dr. Stephen Johnson

Secondary Advisor

Dr. Trevor Thompson

Committee Reader

Dr. Brady Bryce

Abstract

This project addressed the lack of a meaningful engagement with Scripture at the Newmarket Church of Christ. I have defined “meaningful” as an engagement with Scripture that allows experiences and contexts to be a component of interpretation. The purpose of the project is to provide a means of reading whereby the importance of Scripture will be kept at the forefront, while allowing context and experience to be part of the reading of Scripture. The method of reading Scripture employed in this project is “dwelling in the Word.” Dwelling in the Word is a practice that involves a deep-listening process. Participants are asked to listen to the Scripture being read, listen to a “friendly-looking stranger” reveal what they heard, while also listening for how God is speaking in and through the text. Thirteen participants, all members of the Newmarket Church of Christ, were led through a six-week engagement of Scripture through dwelling in the Word. The text chosen for dwelling was 2 Corinthians 4:7-12.

At the end of six weeks of dwelling in 2 Corinthians 4:7-12, some participants belief about the nature and function of Scripture transformed from thinking there is always a single meaning to be applied, to the possibility that there could be many interpretations because of context and experience. In addition, participants made a transition from seeing the text as something to be applied to their lives, to thinking about how they are performers of the text. The process of dwelling also formed a community that was not present at the beginning of the sessions. Somewhere and somehow, the process of listening to each other allowed a tight-knit community to be formed.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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