General Editor’s Preface

Willie Young,
King’s College, Pennsylvania

Editing this issue of the Journal of Scriptural Reasoning has been a joy, as the issue has borne far greater fruit than any of us could have anticipated at the outset. Confronted with the bounty of love, from the Song of Songs and the Sufi Path of Love, I feel like John Cusack’s playwright character in Bullets Over Broadway – with much to say, yet also hearing the words — “Don’t speak! Don’t speak!” Rather, I will let love speak for itself, as the authors and respondents think with their scriptures and traditions, and with one another.

First, though, a word on the issue’s structure. Both the Song and the Path are notable, in their respective traditions, for their emphasis on reciprocity and dialogue as central features of love. As the papers show, it is on both these points that they often encountered resistance from other elements within their traditions. Both reciprocity and dialogue are at the heart of the activity of scriptural reasoning, and the structure of this issue demonstrates this. The articles work within their traditions, and the respondents respond from within their traditions, but also across the boundaries of communities. Chad Pecknold’s report describes the discussion that resulted during the November 2002 meeting. The Introductions to the Articles and the Responses, by Dov Nelkin and Basit Koshul, take us to another level of scriptural reasoning, reflecting on and tracing the relationships between the different practices of interpretation embodied in these papers. For this work, and the guidance it gives us in understanding the activity of scriptural reasoning, the co-editors are particularly grateful to our guest editors of this issue, as they help us to imagine how these three communities may move toward one another on a path and through songs of love.

© 2003, Society for Scriptural Reasoning