Introduction

Jacob L. Goodson
Southwestern College

I am delighted to present to the Society of Scriptural Reasoning this special issue on interreligious reading after the Vatican II council. We did a call for papers on responses to David Ford and Frances Clemson’s edited collection Interreligious Reading After Vatican II: Scriptural Reasoning, Comparative Theology, Receptive Ecumenism, (Wiley-Blackwell, 2013), and we received excellent submissions.

The issue begins with two essays, both of which contribute to specific questions found in scholarship on Scriptural Reasoning. In “New Plural Settlements,” Nicholas Adams continues his scholarly quest to clarify issues of argumentation, plurality, and reception.[1] Robbie Harris, in “Improving the Quality of Our Disagreements: The Potential of ‘Scriptural Reasoning’ for Helping to Repair the World,” introduces readers to his own experience of the practice of Scriptural Reasoning and reflects upon the notion of SR’s potential for repairing the world.[2]

For those who have not read Interreligious Reading After Vatican II: Scriptural Reasoning, Comparative Theology and Receptive Ecumenism, Claire Partlow orients us to the primary arguments, questions, and themes found within this significant collection. Readers will find six more essays addressing the arguments, questions, and themes within Interreligious Reading After Vatican II. There are two general reflections on the volume: Sarah Bania-Dobyns’s “Scriptural Reasoning in the Context of Limited Pluralism: The Unique Challenges of a Roman Catholic Context” and Andrew Massena’s “Between Comparative Theology and Scriptural Reasoning: An Evangelical Christian Encounters Vatican II.” Then we offer two particular responses to Interreligious Reading After Vatican II, and by “particular” I mean that these essays respond to two specific chapters within the volume. In “‘I Am Not a Prophet’: Ecumenical Dialogue with Definition,” Geoff Boyle critiques Anna Bonta Moreland’s “An Analogical Reading of Christian Prophecy: The Case of Muhammad” (chapter 5 in Interreligious Reading After Vatican II). In “Interreligious Reading After Vatican II, with John Henry Newman’s Two Habits of Mind,” Jacob Phillips engages with Michael Barnes’s “Opening Up a Dialogue: Dei Verbum and the Religions” (chapter 2 in Interreligious Reading After Vatican II). For readers of this special issue who have not yet read Interreligious Reading After Vatican II, I recommend reading Partlow’s review essay before reading the other essays in the section.

I heard Robert Miller present a version of “‘For the Sake of Our Salvation’: Interpreting Dei Verbum, Art. 11, Fifty Years Later” at the Mid-Atlantic AAR Regional Meeting in March 2014. I invited Miller to submit his essay to the JSR, and I give him the last word in this section because he responds to Interreligious Reading After Vatican II by returning to Dei Verbum and providing a very helpful and detailed analysis of this Vatican II document.

This issue finishes with two book reviews—both relevant to arguments, questions, and themes found within Interreligious Reading After Vatican II. Emma O’Donnell reviews A Jubliee for All Time: The Copernican Revolution in Jewish-Christian Relations, which is another book that examines Vatican II and specifically reflects upon how Vatican II changed Jewish-Christian relations. Kirsten Guidero reviews The Drama of Living—David Ford’s most recent popular book—and Ford’s reflections on the Christian life are very much formed by the practice of Scriptural Reasoning.

Notes

[1] Staying with the theme of this special issue, a reader might interpret Nicholas Adams’s “A New Plural Settlement” as a natural follow-up to Adams’s “Long-Term Disagreement: Philosophical Methods in Scriptural Reasoning and Receptive Ecumenism,” in Interreligious Reading After Vatican II: Scriptural Reasoning, Comparative Theology and Receptive Ecumenism (Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2013), chapter 10.
[2] Robbie Harris’s essay provides a helpful transition from the practice of Scriptural Reasoning to reflections on and responses to Interreligious Reading After Vatican II: Scriptural Reasoning, Comparative Theology and Receptive Ecumenism.