Like the OT methodology, the teacher, Fr. Dr. John? Mathew, surveyed the basic interpretative methods available… like historical critical, redaction, form, and the newer ones… ideological (liberation, feminist), reader response, narrative, post-colonial, speech act etc.

The survey was pretty basic, especially for anyone who was aware of the newer literary methodologies (as SAIACS students were exposed to through Dr. Stephanie Black).

The discussion time was interesting though… and best summed up by the following anectode.

In the afternoon discussion, A student was asking whether, in view of contextual realities (where death is practiced by hanging not cross), whether we can dispense with the symbol of the cross altogether. Dr. Mathew said that while he would continue to use the cross, the student was free to use whatever principle he chose for understanding the truth of scripture. The student went on to ask whether all the scripture was culturally conditioned. Answer, “yes.” Student: “Then, why can’t we dispense of with the Bible and use our own texts?” Answer, “because God speaks through the Bible. Holy Spirit helps us in understanding” Student (aghast)… “No sir! That’s evangelical!” Teacher’s answer (very quickly, as if to avoid the label inflicted upon him) “No, it’s not evangelical, it’s biblical!”

So, the discussion time was actually very evangelical, with a conversative view that we use multiple methodologies to get as close to the author’s meaning (usually UTC theology is not like this). Also, in addition, the role of Holy Spirit in understanding.

It was just funny that while most students did not question previous ‘liberal’ methodologies. Many students seemed to affirm the teachers beliefs.

Well this is a short update. Mainly because it’s late and I’ve been working on my research proposal to be submitted tomorrow.

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