Introduction

Jacob L. Goodson
Southwestern College

Special Issue on Re-enchantment and Scriptural Reasoning

This year represents the tenth anniversary of my position as General Editor of the Journal of Scriptural Reasoning (JSR), and it has taken as many years for me to attempt a Scriptural Reasoning (SR)-style session in print. This issue opens with a SR-style symposium on the character of Joseph. First, Mohammed Rustom offers an Islamic interpretation of Joseph’s character found in the Qurʾān. Second, the Jewish historian Alan Levenson responds to Rustom’s interpretation of Joseph’s character in the Qurʾān. Third, Lindsey Keith and I offer an analysis of Levenson’s book entitled Joseph (University of Nebraska Press, 2016). We use our analysis to make connections between Levenson’s Jewish interpretation of Joseph’s character in Genesis with certain arguments found in contemporary Christian ethics. Levenson also responds to our analysis of his book. Readers are invited to write to me about what works well and what might work better for doing a SR-style symposium in the electronic pages of the JSR. 

In the second section of this issue, we offer two recent reflections on the nature and purpose of the practice of SR. In his “The Energetics of Attraction: Daniel Hardy’s Theological Imagination, Sociopoiesis, and the Measurement of Scriptural Reasoning,” Robert Leigh explains and updates Daniel Hardy’s vision for the practice of SR. (As a side note, we plan to publish a special issue honoring and remembering Hardy’s philosophical theology, so I request that readers submit essays concerning or relating to Hardy’s work.) In interesting ways, Leigh’s essay links up with the arguments on the “re-enchantment of education” in the next section of this special issue. The second essay, reflecting on the nature and purpose of the practice of SR, comes from Ryan Higgins. Higgins makes a strong case for why “the religiously unaffiliated” ought to participate in the practice of SR.

Southwestern College’s Social Science Honors Society, Pi Gamma Mu, sponsored a talk by Gabriel Haley in January 2017—which led to fruitful discussions concerning the nature and purpose of higher education in the 21st century. I asked Haley if I could invite responses to his lecture and publish them, along with his initial argument, in the JSR. He agreed. I invited two professors (Nauman Faizi and Glenn Sanders) and two graduate students (Geoff Boyle and Abigail Woolley) to respond to Haley’s essay, “The Re-enchantment of Education: C. S. Lewis’s Idea of the Holy.” We welcome further reflections on the nature and purpose of higher education as well.