Introduction

Jacob L. Goodson
Southwestern College

I am happy to present this journal issue to the Society of Scriptural Reasoning. The theme for this issue is Pragmatism and Scripture, and the issue comprises three sections: two essays on pragmatism and scripture, two critical responses to Peter Ochs’s Religion without Violence, and two book reviews on scholarly matters relating to SR.

Scott Yakimow, Professor of Theology at Concordia University in Ann Arbor, Michigan, brings insights from pragmatism to questions concerning the interpretation of scripture in his essay “Spreading Open the Letter and Peering Inside: Gregory Nazianzen, Scriptural Pragmatism, and Doctrinal Development.” Yakimow’s essay will be of interest to a variety of scholars: scholars in biblical studies, patristics, and scholars in American pragmatism. The second essay offers a preview into my Cascade Companion to Scriptural Reasoning. Cascade Press has allowed the Journal of Scriptural Reasoning to publish a version of chapter 1, which explains the relationship between pragmatism and scripture in the thought of Peter Ochs. We are grateful to Cascade Press for granting us permission to offer a preview to the upcoming companion on SR, which will be published in 2021.

Transitioning from Ochs’s work in general to the particularity of one of Ochs’s books, both Kevin Hughes and Jeremy Sorgen offer critical, engaging, and helpful responses to Ochs’s latest book: Religion without Violence: The Practice and Philosophy of Scriptural Reasoning, (Cascade Press, 2019). We invite more submissions responding to and scrutinizing Ochs’s Religion without Violence for future issues.

Finally, we offer readers two reviews of books published in 2017. Hanoch Ben-Pazi reviews David Mishkin’s Jewish Scholarship of the Resurrection of Jesus (Pickwick Publications), and Julie Loveland Swanstrom reviews Marico Costigliolo’s The Western Perception of Islam between the Middle Ages and the Renaissance (Pickwick Publications).

We hope readers enjoy this issue, and please watch for a special issue on COVID-19 to be published in 2021—with guest editor Ashleigh Elser (Assistant Professor of Religion, Hampden Sydney College in Virginia).