In this insightful guide, minister Jonalu Johnstone provides an introduction to reading sacred texts, discusses Unitarian Universalist views of scripture, and suggests ways to use sacred texts within our congregations.

Product Code: 6998
ISBN: 9781558968462
Publisher: Skinner House Books
Published Date: 10/22/2019
Size: 8.5 x 5.5
Availability:In stock
N/A
Price: $20.00

Throughout the ages, adherents of religious traditions from around the world have set apart certain writings and teachings as special, calling them scriptures, sacred texts, or classics. And they have developed particular approaches to reading these texts. In this insightful new guide, Unitarian Universalist minister Jonalu Johnstone provides an introduction to reading sacred texts, discusses Unitarian Universalist views of scripture, and suggests ways to use sacred texts within our congregations. Each chapter explores an aspect of engaging with scripture and includes a reading from a sacred text—the Hebrew Scriptures, the Christian Bible, the I Ching, the Dhammapada, the Qur’an, and others, including more modern sources—and offers progressive commentary based on scholarly and spiritual approaches to these writings. Scripture Unbound explores many of these approaches, including historical-critical reading, chant, feminist interpretation, Jewish midrash, Unitarian Universalist practice, and more. It provides guidance on selecting translations, considers individual and communal spiritual practice, and reflects on some of the dangers of interpreting scriptures, including cultural misappropriation.

This engaging volume invites readers into an adventure of encountering firsthand the words and stories that have inspired billions throughout the centuries. Exploring the wisdom of the ages helps equip us to understand the world we share with a diverse and evolving collection of religious voices.


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INTRODUCTION

A Reading from Esther 4:13–5:13

PART I
Traditional Tools and Readings of Scripture

CHAPTER ONE Scripture and Community
A Reading from the Analects of Confucius
CHAPTER TWO Scripture and Authority
A Reading from Nehemiah 8:1–10
CHAPTER THREE Historical-Critical Reading
A Reading from the Qur’an 3:1–6
CHAPTER FOUR Contextual Criticism
A Reading from Luke 10:38–42
CHAPTER FIVE Scripture in Spiritual Practice
A Reading from Genesis Midrash Rabbah 8:5
CHAPTER SIX The Question of Translation
A Reading of I Ching 17

PART II
A Unitarian Universalist Take on Scripture

CHAPTER SEVEN How Unitarian Universalists Perceive Scripture
A Reading of “For So the Children Come”
CHAPTER EIGHT Preconceptions and Cultural Bias
A Reading from Black Elk Speaks

PART III
Using Scripture

CHAPTER NINE Study
A Reading from Dhammapada 1:1–2
CHAPTER TEN Scripture in Worship
A Reading from Isaiah 61:1–4
CHAPTER ELEVEN Beyond Study and Worship
A Reading from the Tao Te Ching 17

APPENDIX Suggested Scriptures and Stories for Theme-Based Ministry

Resources

Notes

“Scripture, like religion itself, wields its influence in ever-widening concentric circles, beginning within ourselves. Scripture can lead us as individuals toward transformation. When we hold and read books that have survived for centuries, we take a step on a personal spiritual journey. There is something about reading a text that is revered by a community, with a reach that is often worldwide and handed down through millennia. The practice of applying it to our own lives can help us feel less alone and more connected to a truth larger than ourselves. It prompts us to examine how we are called to be and what we are called to do in this world. This reflection is the beginning of wisdom. Scripture, then, can illuminate how, individually and collectively, we have come to where we are, and can push us toward more profound truth.”

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