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Full Access Images, Words and Stories: Exploring their Transformative Power in Reading Biblical Texts Ecologically

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Images, Words and Stories: Exploring their Transformative Power in Reading Biblical Texts Ecologically

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image of Biblical Interpretation

This essay is theoretical rather than interpretive in that I seek to develop a process or processes for reading biblical texts ecologically. I identify initially a significant epistemic shift that Lorraine Code calls ecological thinking as the context in which ecological reading takes place. I emphasize that reading ecologically is a process rather than a fixed approach, drawing imagery and language from Earth's processes that are characterized by reciprocity and multi-dimensionality. As a critical process, ecological reading will be characterized by suspicion and reconfiguration in their reciprocity. They will inform the range of reading procedures that uncover the inner texture and intertexture of the text. Having borrowed these two aspects of textual reading from Vernon Robbins” socio-rhetorical approach and nuanced them in relation to an ecological reading which recognizes the centrality of “habitat,” I propose a more significant development of Robbins' approach in that I replace his “social and cultural texture” with what I call “ecological texture,” suggesting that “inter-con/textuality” is a way of naming the various tools and procedures that will facilitate a reading of this ecological texture of the biblical text. I name my ecological reading process eco-rhetorical and conclude by noting that it cannot remain text-bound but must be integrated into the praxis of ecocitizenship.

Affiliations: 1: University of Auckland;, Email:


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