Title page for ETD etd-02242010-110105


Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Myburgh, Stephanus Jacobus
Email faanmyb@ananzi.co.za
URN etd-02242010-110105
Document Title Undoing closure : responsible use of the Bible in Christian ethical decision making
Degree MA(Theol)
Department Dogmatics and Christian Ethics
Supervisor
Advisor Name Title
Prof D E De Villiers Supervisor
Keywords
  • epistemological
  • ontological
  • practical wisdom
  • historical objectivism
  • ideal type
  • responsibility
  • prejudices
  • conviction
  • hermeneutics
  • vocation
Date 2009-09-01
Availability unrestricted
Abstract

Contemporary Christian ethical decision making includes a move toward responsibility, that is, ways in which responsibility should qualify Christian ethics in general. Linking the ways in which responsibility should qualify Christian ethics with the process of ethical decision making itself as an ideal type, it clarifies the prejudices which make for responsible use of the Bible in Christian ethical decision making. When the prejudices influencing the hermeneutical task in Christian ethical decision making are conformable to the ways in which responsibility should qualify Christian ethics, the Bible is used in a responsible way in Christian ethical decision making.

Responsible use of the Bible is linked with the hermeneutical notion that prejudices constitute the link between past text and current interpreter. This lead to the text being understood in new way(s) in each new historical situation. In this way it is able to undo the notion that the link between past text and current interpreter can be had from historical objectivism, with its prejudice against prejudices in Biblical interpretation, and which holds that the meaning of a text is restricted to what the original author intended. Once this original meaning has been uncovered it becomes valid for all times and under all circumstances, and can therefore be closed. This closure is then linked with an ethics of conviction, as opposed to the ways in which responsibility should qualify Christian ethics.

In exegeting Romans 1: 26-27, as an example, within an ideal type of Christian ethical decision making, it is shown how the interpretation of the text is influenced by the ways in which responsibility should qualify Christian ethics in general. This makes for a new understanding of the text related to the context in which the interpretation happens. As an example it is thus able to show how prejudices can influence the hermeneutical task in Christian ethical decision making. It makes for a responsible reading of the text for the prejudices which are allowed to influence the hermeneutical task are conformable to the ways in which responsibility should qualify Christian ethical decision making. In this way the exegesis of the text is able to show that the understanding of a text, in an ideal type of Christian ethical decision making, is subject to prejudices as that which makes all understanding, also understanding for moral action possible.

Copyright 2009, University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria.

Please cite as follows:

Myburgh, SJ 2009, Undoing closure : responsible use of the Bible in Christian ethical decision making, MA(Theol) dissertation, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-02242010-110105/ >

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