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Pete Enns & The Bible for Normal People

Interview with Dr. Wil Gafney: Womanist Midrash Perspective on the Biblical Text

In this episode of The Bible for Normal People Podcast, Pete and Jared revisit their conversation with Dr. Wil Gafney, scholar and professor at Brite Divinity School. They talk about the value of reading the Bible from womanist perspectives and how we can be more responsible in our interpretations as they explore the following questions:

  • What is womanist biblical interpretation?
  • Why is womanist interpretation important for everyone?
  • What is the difference between classical Jewish Midrash and Womanist Midrash?
  • What’s the difference between womanism and feminism?
  • How has Bible translation been used to harm certain communities throughout history?
  • How is translation both an art and a science?
  • How has Church history affected the way we view gender?
  • How can we be respectful of other traditions that do not speak the Divine name?
  • Who are Bilhah, Zilphah, and Rizpah?
  • Why is it important to name slavery as slavery in the Bible?
  • What are the implications of the Bible endorsing slavery and even God endorsing slavery in the Bible?
  • How can we practice reading the Bible more critically?

Tweetables

Pithy, shareable, less-than-280-character statements from Wil Gafney you can share. 

  • “Everyone interprets everything they see, hear, and read, and we all interpret through who we are, and what we know.” @WilGafney
  • “[Womanism] asks what does it mean to read, see, and hear this text through the life and experience of a black woman.” @WilGafney
  • “One of the principles of womanist biblical interpretation is that that experience is not just useful for black women, it’s useful for anyone who engages the text.” @WilGafney
  • “We must attend to two sets of contexts: the ancient context which are the originating contexts of the text… and our context, the context in which we are right now engaging these texts and the context in which we may write or teach or preach.”
  • “When we approach a text, even a sacred text, we bring stuff with us.” @WilGafney
  • “God uses the language of plurality which signifies that we should not try to reduce God to any one thing.” @WilGafney

Mentioned in This Episode

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The (Biblical) Universal Christ with Richard Rohr

Interview with Richard Rohr: The (Biblical) Universal Christ

June 3, 2019

In this episode of The Bible for Normal People Podcast, Pete and Jared talk with Richard Rohr about the (biblical) universal Christ, and they explore the following questions:

  • Is the Bible pleading with us to move beyond it? How does that work?
  • How do we move from a transactional religion to a transformational religion?
  • How can Richard Rohr’s famous “tricycle” analogy (“Mode of Knowing”) help us through deconstruction and reconstruction?
  • Why does “sola scriptura” send up a red flag for Rohr?
  • What does Richard Rohr mean by Universal Christ—and is it scriptural?
  • Is Christ Jesus’ last name?
  • What is Paul’s shortcut phrase for the Christ mystery that he uses 164 times in his letters?
  • Which passages carry theological significance for a shared historical notion of Christ and creation for the Franciscans?
  • Were the first 13.6 billion years of creation empty of God?
  • What was the first Bible?
  • What is the difference between pantheism and panentheism?
  • What does Richard Rohr teach as the first step in contemplation?
  • What’s the one thing that Fr. Rohr finds it hard to forgive Paul for?
  • What is incarnation? Does what does this mean for our concept of “flesh”?
  • What’s the danger in being raised in a win/lose world?
  • Is mystery not knowable or endlessly knowable?
  • What do we mean by supersessionism and how can we avoid some sense of development across the scriptures?
  • What is the pattern of the universe? How can the divine presence be seen in loss and renewal?
  • Are science and faith compatible?
  • What are some practical things we can do to start down this road towards understanding the universal incarnation, or the Universal Christ?
  • How is the Christian faith evolving?
  • What are Millenials teaching Richard Rohr about living the gospel?
  • Does Richard Rohr have a corporate understanding of salvation?
  • How does Christ expand our understanding of ourselves, the world, and God?

Tweetables

Pithy, shareable, less-than-280-character statements you can share. 

  • “I see us moving rather quickly in consciousness from transactional religion to transformational religion.” @RichardRohrOFM
  • “The Universal Christ is the presence of God in matter…that’s the meaning of the incarnation.” @RichardRohrOFM

Mentioned in this episode

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