Synopses & Reviews
This volume considers the current state of research, offering a critique of current approaches to Catholic Biblical scholarship from a Catholic viewpoint. The authors (they're both Catholic theologians: Johnson teaches at Emory U., Kurz at Marquette U.) have contributed five chapters each on their approaches to Biblical interpretation, chapters in which they respond to each other's work, and a co-written conclusion offering their views on the importance of maintaining a Catholic identity in Biblical scholarship.
Luke Timothy Johnson and William Kurz are Roman Catholic New Testament scholars who think that the apparent good health of biblical scholarship in America is deceptive. Despite its huge production of learning, Catholic scholarship has lost some of its soul because of its distance from the life and concerns of living faith communities. In this volume the authors open a conversation with others in the church concerning a future Catholic biblical scholarship that maintains the freedom of critical inquiry but within a living loyalty to tradition.
Looking not to criticize but to strengthen, the authors model the type of dialogue that is needed today. Johnson first reviews the current state of Catholic biblical scholarship and then points out important lessons from throughout the tradition of interpretation. He calls for imagining the world that Scripture imagines as the presupposition for the organic use of the Bible in theology. Kurz responds to Johnson's chapters and then offers his own approach to biblical interpretation, showing how literary analysis of the Gospel of John can be brought into conversation with the Nicene Creed, with recent debates in ethics, and with the practices of the church. After Johnson responds to Kurz, the authors jointly conclude by addressing a series of questions concerning hard issues now facing Catholic biblical scholarship.